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Was it wrong for the U.S. to just walk away from Iraq?
January 9th, 2012
03:25 PM ET

Was it wrong for the U.S. to just walk away from Iraq?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Just as many predicted would happen, a civil war is threatening to consume Iraq.

On Monday, car bomb attacks in Baghdad killed at least 12 people and wounded more than 50 others.

The bombs targeted a Shiite mosque and market.

A roadside bomb earlier Monday also killed at least one Shiite pilgrim and wounded 10 others.

Hundreds of thousands of Shiites are making their way to Karbala for a pilgrimage and they've been the target of nearly daily attacks.

This spike in violence comes during one of Iraq's worst political crises since the U.S. invasion.

With U.S. military forces gone, the Iraqi government is tied up in a political gridlock along sectarian lines. Many are worried a civil war is around the corner.

Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, says Iraq is in the process of "unraveling" and could split into three states: Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish.

McCain blames the Obama administration for failing to secure a long-term troop agreement with the Iraqi government.

Republican presidential candidate Texas Gov. Rick Perry says he supports deploying U.S. troops back to Iraq. Perry says the United States can't afford to allow Iran to come back into Iraq and take over.

To put it bluntly: Iraq's problems are too numerous to count.

There's the Shiite-Sunni warring politicians, the almost daily bombings, the power vacuum left when American troops withdrew that's now being filled by everyone from al Qaeda in Iraq to Sunni militants to Shiite militias, often backed by Iran.

And there's the turmoil in neighboring Syria. If the Al-Assad regime falls, it could send thousands of Sunni refugees, who fled to Syria after the fall of Saddam Hussein, back to Iraq. Not pretty.

Here’s my question to you: Was it wrong for the U.S. to just walk away from Iraq?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 5pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

Posted by
Filed under: Iraq • War in Iraq
soundoff (352 Responses)
  1. marcia in west virginia

    No. Iraq had plenty of time to get their act together. They just thought the U.S. would take care of them forever. The only part of Iraq that was worth our time is the Kurdish area in the north.

    January 9, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
  2. Jayne in NH

    We didn't "just walk away from Iraq." The deal was brokered during the Bush administration and the Iraqis showed us the door. Can you blame them?

    January 9, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
  3. David R Bebeau,Springfield Missouri

    Walk away Jack? What,you have to be kidding.10 years and a trillion dollars and 4000 dead troops...................Walk way Jack.Absolutely no WMD and sold snake oil to the UN so we could do this crazy mission.Just think of how much safer we'd be spending that trillon on our port security and many other things.If Iraq can't step up afer ten years because they hate each other's sect...............well Jack then I am very offended you'd go with walk away.And sir I am being polite.
    David

    January 9, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
  4. Gerry

    No! We should have walked away nine years ago after the fall of Saddam Hussein. We must have been smoking a lot of that illegal stuff to think that the Iraqi mentality could abandon tribal loyalities and unite under a democracy. What a waste of American youth and American dollars. We swore we would never have another Vietnam and with all that knowledge and hindsight we repeated the same mistake. Washington needs a mental enema.

    Gerry
    Arizona

    January 9, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
  5. Jk from Minnesota

    No. President Bush agreed to the withdrawal date – I find it amusing the GOP is howling at Obama for honoring and agreement made by one of their own. I think it should have been sooner.

    January 9, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
  6. Mike S., New Orleans

    We sacrificed thousands of U.S. lives, spent billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars, removed a dictator, and then left after a decade. Who is calling that "walking away?" Let me guess: those running against Obama, and the right wing media. Can't the war hawks sleep at night unless U.S. troops are dying somewhere?

    January 9, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
  7. Russ in PA

    No. It was wrong to walk in in the first place. Or hasn't the Media and politicians caught on to that fact yet?

    Ron Paul in 2012...

    January 9, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
  8. Paul From Austin Texas

    No although we got rid of one slug in power all in all Iraq was a waste of money, time, energy, and lives. Only if we would have went all out in Afganistan and followed all the slugs that ran and still run across the Afgan border into Pakistan and wipe them out we would of found Bin Ladin long ago. We should also leave Afganistan as soon as possible.

    January 9, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
  9. Joe - New York, New York

    In a word jack, No. We shouldn't have been there in the first place.

    January 9, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
  10. Doug Ericson

    Yes, they should have ran. And they can get the rest of them out too. I hope, Imam Sadr, has a good time running that country. Doug, Pepperell, MA.

    January 9, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
  11. MYSTEROIUS

    As a mother of a soldier, who thankfully came back alive both times, I would say hell yes. We lost enough blood and treasure. We should not have been over there in the first place.

    January 9, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
  12. Noel Sivertson New Mexico

    Not at all. No more than it would be wrong for a gambler who keeps losing at black-jack to walk away from the table after he's taken out a second mortgage on his house to pay his gambling debts.

    I don't know why anyone is surprised at what's happening in Iraq. The day after we invaded it was inevitable that the strife and chaos we created would continue the day after we left be that after 10 days, ten monhs, ten years or ten decades,

    Th country was much better off under Saddam, as brutal a dictator as he was, than it is now. Under Saddam Sunnis and Shites lived as neighbors; had running water and electricity; and mom didn't risk gettng shot in the cross-fire or suicide bombed when she went out for a loaf of bread.

    Instead of being to world's policeman we are the world's mddling mother-in-law who keeps at until the family breaks up, only with deadlier consequences.

    January 9, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
  13. diridi

    Nothing wrong. USA spent enough of its treasury. It practically drained by George Bush idiotic War. So no wrong. OK,

    January 9, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
  14. JR

    What was wrong was to "just walk into" Iraq. I was traveling through in Europe at the time and remember the huge crowds of young and old protesters in the city centers of Barcelona and Madrid hoping and praying that GW Bush would refrain from his mis-directed sights and untruthful premise that Iraq was had and intended to use nuclear weapons. Hindsight is 20/20. Sadly, he involved thousands of our miliary men and women in a 10-year effort that may not likely lead to an independent and democratic society there. We are not "just walking out". Obama is holding to a promise he made to us. Funny that our current Republican primary candidates for the Presidency are in such disagreement over current and future "war" decisions. Obama didn't start our conflict in Iraq, Bush perpetuated lies to justtify going in with guns drawn, the US miliary complex benefitted by increases in spending but suffered with increases in soldiers' deaths, injuries, and continued social and psychological problems, and took its toll on our economy in the form of huge spending to fund the war at the same time cuts were given to the 1 percent of the wealthiest in society...and we wonder why we are where we are in 2012 financially and politically. Those who criticize Obama now for not leaving a larger contingency of troops in Iraq are the same critics who complain that our government can't afford to keep spending uncontrollably, while, at the same time, neglect to understand that, without an "amnesty" agreement with Iraq, we would be jeopardizing the safely of our soldiers again. Ten years is enough expense of our time, money, blood, sweat and tears.

    January 9, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
  15. sarah-Dumfries ,VA

    why are you guys so IGNORANT about everything ?first of all U.S should not have gone to Iraq atall,Obama did the right thing to bring the poor troops back home

    January 9, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
  16. Alexandra Goihl

    It was wrong for us to go there in the first place! Did we really think we could win that war? Hours after our troops left, the place started coming apart!
    when is America and Britain going to learn to stay out of other countries affairs and fix their own problems!!

    January 9, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
  17. John B.

    It was wrong for the Bush to invade Iraq in the first place.

    January 9, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
  18. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    How can it be wrong to walk away from a country that did not want us there in the first place and told us to leave? We invaded this country on false information which I believe was done on purpose. One of the biggest mistakes we ever made was invading Iraq. I just pray to God we do not make another one and send troops back in.

    January 9, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
  19. Clarence Gordon

    Absolutly, We should never been there in the first place. Bush had an itenery in Iraq to kill Sadom because he had put out a hit contract on Bush Sr. It is a waste of more American lives and injuries to stay there when nothing is going to change. We need to get out of Afganistan also for the same reason.

    January 9, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
  20. Clarence Gordon

    Sorry I am from Springtown, Tx

    January 9, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
  21. David in Tampa

    It was just wrong for us to walk into Iraq. See what happens when you have dumb, dumber, and dumbest running the government (Bush, Chaney, and a war-monger controlled congress). How many of their children fought there?

    January 9, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
  22. Bill of New Mexico

    Since the U.S. would never convert Iraq in a hundred years, it was high time for the U.S. to leave.

    When the national debt destroys the U.S.–Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Syria, Pakistan, and Egypt will be incidental.

    January 9, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
  23. Richard Texas

    Well to be honest Jack it was wrong to ever invade Iraq in the first place. We had to leave some time and no mater how long we would have stayed this was bound to happen. You see it is not about what America wants for Iraq and it never was. It is about what Iraq wants for Iraq and only those people living there can sort it out for themselves if even then.

    January 9, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
  24. Brad, Portland, OR

    We didn't walk away, we were asked to leave by the democratically elected government.

    Besides, we were there for almost 10 years. We've done everything we can do for them.

    We weren't going to solve the Sunni vs. Shiite dispute that's been going on for over a thousand years no matter how long we stayed. If we stayed for 100 more years, then left, they'd start fighting each other the day after.

    They're not our problem anymore.

    January 9, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
  25. Pete from Georgia

    No, what was WRONG was going there in the first place with no more knowledge of the 5,000 yr. old insane cultures there than the average 4th grader possess'.
    We have to be the most arrogant foolish nation of our stature to ever grace this planet.

    January 9, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
  26. John from Alabama

    Jack: We did not walk away from Iraq. We left behind a trained police force, and a trained military. I addition, we left 17,000 to 18,000 Americans in Iraq with the largest embassy the United States owns. We will continue to do humanitarian missions, and construction projects inI Iraq. We will continue to do security missions and information gathering for our friends in Iraq. We are still in Iraq, but we are much more low key than before.

    January 9, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
  27. Charles, Lansing, Michigan

    It is never wrong to walk away from a place we should not have been in the first place.

    January 9, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
  28. Wilhelm von Nord Bach

    NO. ENOUGH is ENOUGH. We should have NEVER gone IN THERE in the FIRST PLACE. I fear that all we have done is make Iraq a "lap dog" of Iran.

    and btw, Jack. ENOUGH is ENOUGH in Afghanistan TOO. ain't NO way those people can be pried out of the 7th Century AND there is NOTHING of VALUE there. at least Iraq had oil.

    January 9, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
  29. LA Belle

    Your question sounds like the military just made an over-night trip and came home.

    After 13 years, the Iraqi people should have their act together by now. What a waste of borrowed tax dollars, time and lives for people that will never change their ways. U.S. contractors have made their fortunes based on lies, but if they need more let them stay on their own money.

    Politicians need to clean up their own filibustering mess in this country, instead of supporting and rewarding corruption in other countries.

    January 9, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
  30. Loren

    We didn't just walk away, we were asked to leave. Our leaving was unfortunate for the Iraqi people, but considering where we found them and how we got there, they are still better off for our having been there than they would have been, even with all of the uncertainty.

    January 9, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
  31. Kenneth in California

    If the oil stops flowing because of the civil war we spawned, the powers to be will have the troops running back there.

    January 9, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
  32. Phyllis G. Williams

    Was it wrong for the U.S. to just walk away from Iraq?

    Aren't you glad to see your country stop killing other human beings?
    The earth belongs to God (Psalm 33: 6-9) not to the wicked human
    beings he has created, offering it to them for an inheritance (Rev. 21: 7)
    and they stupidly keep killing one another to inherit a Lake of Fire?

    January 9, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
  33. Kevin in CA

    First off, I disagree that we just walked away – going on 9 years, almost $1 Trillion, 4,484 US dead and 33,186 wounded says otherwise. That being said, you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink. We could spend the next century there trying to make Iraq into the image and likeness of the United States.

    January 9, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
  34. Ed from MD

    Sure, did you expect them to stay there 10 years or something?

    January 9, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
  35. Herman Portland OR

    We did not just walk away from Iraq. Our President has made this commitment when he was campaigning back in 08. He has fulfilled a promise to the people that elected him. The Iraq war has been very unpopular with the American people. At this time the mission was pretty much completed. The President and the administration decided that a large military presence was not necessary. We can always go back if it does not work out.

    January 9, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
  36. David in Mississippi

    The exit was better than the one from Vietnam. I still believe we left service members behind there and time has done nothing to change that. Those that fought in Iraq will have to come to terms with the end of it and I wish them the best.

    January 9, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
  37. Ed from California

    No! It was wrong for us to attack them in the first place. I think what we need to do to help make things right.......lets send over the entire George Bush family (1&2), along with the entire Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld's, the entire Colin Powell's family over, and the entire republican (war mongering) party over there to help easy the tensions. Yep, that'll do it!!

    January 9, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
  38. Weston -New York

    Yes it was wrong because we're going to have the same problem again as we did when we kicked the Soviets out of Afghanistan. We walked away from that. Now look at the new problem. Its just gonna end up being a similar problem unless we supply them with the knowledge and ability to run their own country the correct way with better leadership. We don't need to militarily be there but we can support them and guide them on the right path. However, Iraq doesn't want us they just wan't to do their own thing. So if they don't want us i guess we just have to sit back and see what happens.

    January 9, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
  39. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    No Jack, it was wrong of us to invade Iraq in the first place. Now some of the Presidential candidates want to do the same thing with Iran. We're responsible for killing many thousands of innocent people and will pay the price at some time in the future. Thanks W and others who were playing God.

    January 9, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
  40. Tina Tx

    No. We should have never gone in the 1st place and you cannot continue to occupy a country that a war was started for the wrong reasons.

    January 9, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
  41. Mel - Houston

    Am I wrong, but; I thought we somewhat asked to leave. There was not much coverage on this topic by the media, I wonder why?. Our soldiers could stay there as long as they desired, however; their immunity from locat laws were being revoked. How many people missed this fact. If an American is accused of rape he would be tried under Iraqi Law. That's right folks, Sharia Law. Our more reactionary state in America are passing laws to prevent Sharia Law from being used in the United States and our soldiers were going to be tried under this legal system. To me that sounds like we were being kicked out.

    January 9, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
  42. Pete from Florida

    No, it was just done several years too late. Once Saddam was dead, that should have been the end of U.S. involvement. Better yet, several members of the Bush administration should not have lied us into invading Iraq in the first place. 35,000 Americans dead and wounded is kind of a high price to pay for Bush's political ambitions, isn't it?

    January 9, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
  43. K. Williams. from da Bronx

    JACK I was not aware that America" walked away" my problem is why were we even there? Yeah they talked loud but carried no sticks ! They had nothing to. do with 9/11 BUSH CHENEY and Rumsfeld lied and Americans died they should be forced to live there for 10 yrs with no protection ! ! Except for cheney and his trusty rife

    January 9, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
  44. tom bulger, Canandaigua, NY

    The people of Iraq told us to get out. When the people told Mubarak to get out, we thought he was stupid to think he could stay. We think Assad is stupid. Gaddafi is stupid and dead. Why would it not have been stupid for us to try and stay? It was not only the right thing to do, it was one of the few legal things we ever did in that whole sorry saga.

    January 9, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
  45. Name*David in Bastrop, Texas

    No Jack it was the right thing to do. Only idiots & war mongers want to stay and risk more American lives along with spending money we don't have.

    January 9, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
  46. Tom (Atlanta)

    One can debate whether or not it was wise to go to war in Iraq and Afganistan for that matter. But, we did and regardless of the action our long term goal is national security, and everyone agrees about this. Regardless of the appropriateness of these wars, their operational plans has included leaving these countries at an appropriate time, and not staying. So, is leaving appropriate? Everyone will agree the answer it yes, The question then becomes when and how. This administration appears to taken the approach of disengagement and inaction to most situations that involve international conflict. This action is consistent with that. I believe, however, that taken together with other recent actions it has shown our hand and the result will be that those who politically disagree with us will push us harder in the further knowing full well not to do so is "leaving money on the table". I personally believe that our kids will pay a price for the course being set by this administration's disengagement approach. History has demonstrated that this approach will in the end pay an even bigger price. I think it's 2am in the White House, and the phone is ringing. And, look who answered it.

    January 9, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
  47. calaurore9

    No. We should never have gone in. No matter when we left, now, ten years from now, it'd revert back to its ethnic regional roots. Saddam kept it together longer than most.

    Carol Colitti Levine, Ma

    January 9, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
  48. Paulette from Dallas,PA

    We never should have been over there in the first place and did we really expect a different outcome?

    January 9, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
  49. Kim , Dodge City, Kansas

    It was more wrong to be there in the first place. The fact is, even if we stayed there till the end of time, nothing in Iraq or Afganistan is ever going to change. The events happening there now, are proof positive that leaving Iraq has saved the lives of hundreds, if not thousands, of American soldiers that would have died for nothing. Only Iraq can fix Iraq.

    January 9, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
  50. bonnie from NJ

    Are you serious, we should not have been there in the first place. Saddam was a horrible dictator, but it was not our place to take him out. We have destroyed their country and ours in the process and they don't want us there. We have to stop policing the world and use the money and military to help us here. Our government has walked away from us, the middle class, we our the ones who should be the beneficiaries of that money.

    January 9, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
  51. Jeff In Minnesota

    We did not walk away. We were told to leave. Now, did the decision of the Iraqi government make sense? Probably not, but such is politics. However, when the ruling government says it's time to go, you need to go, regardless of what you might think is best.

    January 9, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
  52. Bob D Iowa

    Well maybe there needs to be a new motto for the US’s National Counter Terrorism Center Seal. "OTW" (occupy the world) but it would have to be non-violent vs some of the other suggestions that candidates are using.

    January 9, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
  53. Annie, Atlanta

    It was wrong for America to get involved in Iraq in the first place. Will we learn a lesson from this huge blunder? Probably not. We're don't seem capable of learning lessons from our mistakes. What part of they don't want us there anymore is so hard to understand? Let the Iraqis figure out their own destiny.

    January 9, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
  54. dave in nashville

    Just send McCain over there on a permanent leave from the senate and all will be fine. He helped put us there in the first place, let him deal with them, I could care less.

    January 9, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
  55. Jane in CA

    It was wrong to go INTO Iraq. The longer we stay, the wronger we are. The exit timetable was created under President Bush. President Obama is honoring that agreement. That may be the only right thing we have done.

    January 9, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
  56. Larry -Denver

    And if we stayed? Do you think it would make any difference? The civil wars in all Arab states will go on as long as there are Muslims and varies other sects. Its the best of the bad decisions to be made. Lets just get out and stay out. OH, Iran? what about when we really really realize they have a nuclear device? Going there next?

    January 9, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
  57. dave in nashville

    It was wrong to walk into Iraq.

    January 9, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
  58. Karl in Flint

    No, we were asked to leave and we did and until we are invited back it is none of our business. We can't afford to be the police force for the world. We are broke. We need to take care of ourselves and let the Middle East continue their wars that have been going on for centuries.If Iran is butting in, then it is up to the entire international community to interfere, not just us and if they do, get it over with and don't drag it on for decades. Iran is eventually going to have to be put in it's place but it isn't our job to do it all.

    January 9, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
  59. Phil W

    The corporate owned media who was complicit in telling us there were WMDs, is telling us there is a civil war in Iraq? Even if I believed anything from the media, what what if there were a civil war in Iraq? How is that any of our business? We were lied to going in, and we'll be lied to by our government forever. It is way past time to admit our errors and bring the troops home. There is no honor or purpose in staying, unless we want to continue to agitate the M.E. so that some more blowback can justify our police state.

    January 9, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
  60. Dave - Phx

    Not only no, but hell no. We should have never been there in the first place, but for Bush's illegal war. The Iraqi government wanted us to leave, the Iraqi people wanted us to leave. WHO CARES ABOUT IRAQ now.

    January 9, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
  61. gunny

    I dont think it was wrong. Let them take care of there own. We spent enough money and lives in a country that doesnt care about us and will revert back to there old ways once we are completly gone. Muslums like to fight with each other and other countrys.

    January 9, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
  62. Ralph Nelson

    No. We should have left eight years ago. We should have never gone in there in the first place. One of the leading science magazines says we could be energy independent by 2040 for $50 billion. So we waste $1 trillion on Iraq to protect oil. Nobody studied the sociology. Nobody studies the country's history. The President said no great president had been so without a war...so he started one. He's said what he enjoyed most was being commander and chief. There is no greater waste to an economy than war because wars make no salable product, add nothing to the economy but waste our future, our future wealth because we did not spend the money on education, technology, and new plant and equipment. All we did was turn the country over to the Shiites (Iran's pals).

    January 9, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
  63. Conor, Chicago

    Walk away? Ok. Let's go over some basic facts about what happened.

    1) The SOFA signed by President Bush in 2008 explicitly states that US forces are to vacate Iraq by 1/1/2012 unless asked, by the Iraqi parliament, to stay past that date. To give you a clear idea of what that means: If US forces remained in Iraq in 2012, Iraqi Army units could have engaged US military units and have been justified in doing so by international law.

    2) Obama, US diplomats, and even other Arab governments pleaded with Iraqi parliamentarians to allow a residual force in order to counter Iranian influence. However, a vote in favor of US forces remaining was impossible due to how unpopular this idea is to the Iraqi populace. Let's not forget that your average Iraqi, regardless of tribe or sect, isn't exactly greatful to the US for 9 years of borderline anarchy, hundreds of thousands of deaths and imprisionments, Abu Grahb, Blackwater, etc.

    3) AL-Sadr, the man in charge of the Mehdi Army, has said on several occasions that if US forces remain in Iraq he would renew the insurgency of 2006-2007 when the US was losing soldiers every day. Take in mind his army has had 4 years to re-equip, re-train, re-finance, and gather new recruits, and this time, given our actions toward Iran over the last 4 years, you could expect Iran to openly support Sadr's movement.

    4) Despite what your garden-variety Obama-hating Neo-Con news caster will tell you, the people of the US are done with this travesty and do not see the value of wasting money and blood in a country that will never sort out its differences while 100,000 US troops are occupying the country. We were lied into this war, the people who perpetrated this crime are still at large, and most of the people in positions of power who advocate keeping US forces in Iraq are the same people who aided in launching this war. In light of how all this played out its safe to say that their opinions matter very little.

    Obama didn't walk away from Iraq. He follow the terms of the SOFA agreement to the letter, and rightfully so.

    January 9, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
  64. Carla

    Oh, for heaven's sake - make up your mind. First, everyone is yelling to bring the troops home and stop the killing and the destruction of our economy that can't afford these trivial wars. Now, it's - oops - maybe we shouldn't have pulled out? We had no business there in the first place. You want to blame somebody? Blame George Bush and his friends - that would be the 1% that benefits financially from wars. We went into a country that never harmed us and had nothing to do with 9/11. We tore it to shreds. It's a little late for crocodile tears.

    January 9, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
  65. Paul - North Carolina

    No. It was wrong for the U.S. to have ever been in Iraq in the first place. If John McCain doesn't know that he should resign his seat and find a nice quiet place to spend his waning years. As for Rick Perry, who is he to offer any comment? Yes, Iraq's problems are too numerous to count. But they are Iraq's problems. The Arab world has a history of tribal warfare, sectarian violence and genocide spanning thousands of years. Wasting more U.S. blood and money isn't going to change that.

    January 9, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
  66. Chris, Ottawa Canada

    The mistake was invading in the first place. America cannot solve all the world's problems. Only Iraqis can solve Iraq's problems

    January 9, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
  67. Michael Bindner, Alexandria, VA

    The US did not walk away, just the military. It left diplomats (with immunity) and mercenaries (without immunity) in place in great numbers. There was a spike in violence, but it was by al Queda, was not organic and can't be sustained. If they try, it will unite Iraq against the terrorists.

    January 9, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
  68. Terry Wells -Hoosier Hillbilly-Greensburg,IN

    IMPO-"IN MY PERSONAL OPINION" "WE" should never have walked in, in the 1 st place. When is ("OUR") gov going to face facts and realize what the real world is like? They have no conception of foreigners or the people in their own country. They live in a fantasy world of political "welfare" and are perfectly content to stay there, but {money wise}
    their time is about over!
    Far Eastern countries have been fighting wars with each other since the beginning of time ( way before America got here ) and they'll continue to fight with each other it's their culture-fine-let it be...if they mess with "US" [ and "WE" weren't interferring] "WE" take care of the problem @ that time-"WE" don't stick out nose in their business and "WE"
    make {damn} sure they know they'd better stay out of 'ours'. Maybe if we leave them alone long enough they kill each other off, China will have more land and assets to support "US" better.
    "WE" need to walk away form "A-HELL-OF-A-LOT-MORE-THAN_IRAQ!

    January 9, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
  69. ang

    Jack, Only the CIA can answer that question. if people really do believe "We just walked away" then you would have to believe the CIA did also.....which is ludacris! BUT THEN AGAIN....Irag is back to what they were before we ever went over there. no SURPRISE THERE!.....AND YOU WOULD HAVE TO ASK ALL OUR MILITARY FAMILIES THAT HAVE LOST THERE SONS AND ALL THE FAMILIES THAT ARE CARING FOR THERE MAIMED FAMILY MEMBERS ....... AND ALL THE MILITARY SERVICEMEN WHO HAVE COMMITTED SUICIDE COMING BACK HOME! AND ALL THE SERVICEMEN AND WOMEN WHO HAVE PSTD.........WHO IS QUALIFIED TO SAY THAT WE WALKED AWAY OR WHO IS QUALIFIED TO SAY WE SHOULD STAY THERE?...........THE WAR BUBBLE HAS IMPLODED ON ITSELF.

    January 9, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
  70. Adam - Florida

    The United States could have stayed for the next 25 years and these problems would still be their. If seperating Iraq into multiple states is the answer then so be it. The US should have just made Iraq into a territory and then set about instituting law into the country. You have to either force it upon someone until they understand whats good for them or you have to let them work it out themselves. The US had to experience many of these things in its past and we are better for it.

    January 9, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
  71. ken, atlantic city, nj

    Who said it is wrong.

    January 9, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
  72. Kirk (Apple Valley, MN)

    We screwed up in 2003 when we allowed George W. Bush and his idiot (and inept) administration to get us into the quagmire they called Iraqi Freedom (and then allowed all of them to just walk away like nothing happened). There were no weapons of mass destruction, which is why Bush and company decided we needed to invade in case you don't remember. The only thing we did when we invaded was open the door to to the simmering hate between the Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds and release Iran from the threat (albeit hollow) that was Saddam Hussien. Be that as it may, it isn't our job to be Iraq's police. We should never have been there in the first place and we should never, EVER go back!

    January 9, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
  73. ken, atlantic city, nj

    Iraq is not our problem, remember they had nothing to do with 9/11 and did not have wmd's. It is not wrong to leave iraq, because it was wrong to be there in the first place.

    January 9, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
  74. Dale N.M.

    The US should not be involved in anything in that part of the world.

    January 9, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
  75. Kirk (Apple Valley, MN)

    I'm tired of the Senate's resident "hero" trying to pretend he knows more about what we should be doing militarily than the President and his military staff. If McCain had been elected in 2008, we would be involved in wars all over the place.

    January 9, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
  76. Mark, Portland,OR

    In part yes, because we were the one's who caused this mess by invading there country and we have an obligation to rebuild their country for the damage we have caused. And if their is a civil war the blame should not fall on the back of president Obama but on the back of president Bush for giving false information on Iraq's "WMD" programs and dragging us into a war that should have never happened.

    January 9, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
  77. Gail, Plano TX.

    The Iraqi people & the government do not want us there! Doesn't anybody get it? We left because of an agreement between Iraq & the Bush administration. President Obama is damned if he does, and damned if he doesn't! Let the Iraqis fight amongst themselves. It is none of our business. Never was. A huge mistake on our part. We invaded a sovereign country for absolutely no reason!

    January 9, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
  78. Kelley

    Wrong?

    It was wrong to go there in the first place.....

    January 9, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
  79. Jon

    No. Period.

    January 9, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
  80. Aaron Lanterman

    The Iraqi government asked us to leave, based on an agreement they had worked out with the *Bush* administration. There's little reason to believe the situation would be better if we pulled out two from years now or twenty years from now. We do not have the resources to police the world.

    January 9, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
  81. Dan Toronto, ON

    Are US Troops going to magically make everybody there love each other the way they have for the past thousand years? If they don't get along, they don't get along and there's nothing the US or anybody else can do to change that.

    January 9, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
  82. David in Cincinnati

    Wrong to JUST walk away??? Have you forgotten the Bush Administration's Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), scoffed at by many as extending the US occupation of Iraq? It's clear now (but not to CNN then) that we JUST should never have walked in.

    January 9, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
  83. Duane - St. Pete FLA

    we help create the situation and should have left a stablizing force behind. We did just what Iran wanted and now will have to deal with the mess left over.....for years and years to come.

    January 9, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
  84. dale in Austin

    Yes Jack it was wrong, we should have stayed there FOREVER. Occupations are always so popular. While we are at it lets start more wars we can't finish and get more boys killed because of our fear of religion that is different than our own. Give me a break. These people would have been better off left alone with Saddam. Thanks again, George W!

    January 9, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
  85. Chris R

    Was it wrong? It really wasn't our choice now was it? The Iraqi government made it *clear* that our armed forces were to leave. If they had stayed in spite of this then we would be occupiers in all ways. That's the awful thing about freedom – when people have it they may not do what you want.

    January 9, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
  86. Les

    Most critics state the question of if we should've pulled out without adding a crucial factor "if the Iraqi government refuses to exempt US soldiers from prosecution." Without including that caveat, all discussions end up being basically straw man arguments. So Jack, if you are going to ask a tough question, at least give us a proper description of the problem!

    January 9, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
  87. Rick from Chicago

    Jack ... At some point the Iraqis are going to have to step up and do their own fighting and their own dying for their own freedom in their own country.

    Might as well be now!

    Granted they never asked for it, but if they didn't want our freedom with our help, why should anyone be shocked that they don't want it without our help?

    January 9, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
  88. Cliff Glass - Rego Park, New York

    Jack,

    The spending of over 1 trillion dollars and the incalculable loss of over 4500 young Americans based on a false premise is not walking away, It's finally coming to our senses.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
  89. OrangeW3dge

    Just walk away? If anything is wrong it's framing a question like this as an accusation. The survivors may have "walked away", but more accurately drove away, if you watch the home video version. The United States had no business there in the first place, invasion might be illegal if you ask some people. But ending the war and removing the combat troops is not "walking away". We will still be there with personnel and money for a very long time to come.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
  90. Kelley-ARKANSAS

    Wrong?

    It was wrong to go there in the first place and impose our will upon the people of Iraq.

    We need to focus on building our nation and stop assuming other want our "HELP"

    January 9, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
  91. MARK, OKLAHOMA CITY

    What did you want us to do, Jack? Make Iraq the 51st state of the Union?

    January 9, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
  92. benji

    All you folks who win about Obama pulling us out, well if Iraq is so important why didn't YOU volunteer to go fight over there? Armchair generals are cowards.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
  93. bobby

    No, we should have left a long time ago.

    How about a little nation building here????

    January 9, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
  94. Kelley-ARKANSAS

    It was wrong to go there in the first place and impose our will upon the people of Iraq.

    We need to focus on building our nation and stop assuming others want our "HELP

    January 9, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
  95. Greg McCarthy

    Jack, This question shouldn't even have been needed to be asked. It was completely wrong to go there in there first place under false pretense. It was basically 'Invade,and see what we find.' Nothing was found,and we still didn't leave even then. Now,with Obama in charge,he can't even wipe his butt correctly in the GOP's eyes. He decided to leave and the GOP can't stand it because they want the power. Greg M. FL

    January 9, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
  96. Baby in Florida

    What was wrong was that it took so long and cost so many lives. We are not the United States of the World, we're the United States of AMERICA and our armed forces were designed by the founding fathers to protect the USA, not the world.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
  97. Clay

    Jacksonville

    Right or wrong, Jack, America never apologizes for anything or does anything wrong on the world stage as far as politicians and the media are concerned. The rest of us are just stuck here on the lower branches of the monkey tree: they look down and see smiling faces while we look up and see but...

    January 9, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
  98. Rick James B. (Missouri)

    Now or never. It wouldn't have mattered if we stayed another 15 years....would have same results you see today.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
  99. dabu

    What was wrong and couldn't be emphasized enough, is that it was wrong to go in in the first place. Republicans are acting like the kid who killed his parents and pleads with the courts now to have mercy on him since he is an orphan! Get real.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
  100. Gary

    Here's my answer to you: NO! It was wrong to be there in the first place, and it was wrong to stay there this long. It was wrong, and we did the only thing that, over time, will right that wrong. Staying there was NEVER going to fix the problems that our presence created. Only the people of Iraq can do that, just like only the people of America could have solved its problems and during the Civil War era. You cannot force a way of life or government on another people, they must realize it/achieve it for themselves.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
  101. Matt

    No. Were we supposed to be there forever?

    January 9, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
  102. Rob

    Yes, to walk away in the way that we did was wrong.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
  103. Kevin

    Absolutely not, America did not walk away from Iraq. When we spent eight years there and countless American lives to secure this country, the American people wanted to exit this country and we all knew the country would have rough days after our departure and it is 100% their problem just as the problems are here are 100% our own. If they wanted help, they would have asked for it, and they did exactly the opposite.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
  104. Gregory H. Maxwell

    Your question is unfairly phrased–"just walk away"?? What are you talking about??!! The U.S. spent 9 years, precious lives, and untold billions to help Iraq rebuild and when it comes time to negotiate a withdrawal what does Iraq do? It insists on being able to prosecute American soldiers in Iraqi courts wherever and whenever it wants. This condition alone was sufficient reason to withdraw from Iraq. As someone wisely pointed out in another post on this topic last week, how can the U.S. leave Iraq too early when it should never have gone there in the first place? And Rick Perry?? Please God, save us from another Texas disaster!!

    January 9, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
  105. Carolyn in SD

    McCain blames Obama? I blame Bush and Cheney for starting a war that did not need to be started.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
  106. JAB from Missouri

    No. We should have done left long ago. George HW Bush had the right idea. Go in. Do what you went to do. And get out.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
  107. manu

    So we will be there until the problems of the past 1400 years are resolved between the Shea's and the Sunnis?

    January 9, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
  108. Cindy Jordan

    Came in unprovoked, killed 100K+ citizens, toppled government, destroyed economy and infastructure. No WMDs? Oops, sorry, our bad. But, hey, thanks for the oil. See ya.
    Wrong to withdraw??? Don't get me started.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
  109. Andy from Los Angeles

    When we first invaded Iraq we unleashed the simmering antagonisms between the Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds. This was an inevitable outcome of our misguided adventure. Now, all the kings horses and all the kings men will not put Iraq back together again; even if we had stayed for 100 more years!

    January 9, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
  110. HJ - Saint Paul, MN

    Its a civil war. Let them fight it. We're just making it a world war.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
  111. Ed in Reno

    What was wrong was for the U.S. to go charging into Iraq in the first place.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
  112. Andy from Los Angeles

    When we first invaded Iraq we unleashed the simmering antagonisms between the Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds. This was an inevitable outcome of our misguided adventure. Now, all the kings horses and all the kings men wouldl not put Iraq back together again; even if we stay for 100 more years!

    January 9, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
  113. Bill P

    It was time to get out. Only the warmongers are sad at our leaving. While we did not create the sectarian strife in Iraq, we are responsible for the unraveling of the control mechanism – Saddam Hussein. We gave it a shot, we lost lives, and we spent almost a trillion dollars trying to make up for a big mistake. But how long is "long enough"? The elements at play in Iraq will do what they will do whether it is today or tomorrow. We are done.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
  114. Eric

    Iraq is a country populated with tribes and religious sects whose natural inclination is to kill each other. Only a ruthless tyrant like Saddam Hussein could put the brakes on something like that by constantly threatening (and carrying out) mass slaughter. We could either stay in Iraq, and have our troops be in the middle of the killing, in which case they would be killed as well, or leave, and not suffer the destruction of the lives of our troops and trillions of taxpayer dollars.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
  115. Jim

    We could stay there another 10 to 50 years the outcome would be the same. We have lost enough people over there, it has cost us enough in lives and money. We should have never been there in the first place. bring all our troops back home... Jim

    January 9, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
  116. Michael, from Smiths, Alabama

    McCain has no right to place the blame for Iraq's troubles on the Obama administration. They did try to secure long-term security arrangements, but it was the Iraqi government that told us to leave...and let's not forget, it was George W. Bush who put our troops there in the first place. I agree with the need to provide more stability to Iraq, but I disagree with Rick Perry's solution.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
  117. mudbone9

    NO. It also sounds like nothing has changed since we left. The Iraqis had nearly nine years to work out their political differences and they choose to squander the opportunity. Now they are going to pay the price for their stubbornness.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
  118. Roland B

    Jack,

    When is it a GOOD time to pull out of Iraq. There will ALWAYS be disputes amongst the Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish groups. We (U.S.) cannot afford to stay in Iraq until everyone is singing Kumbaya together. We will go broke and I DO NOT think the public will give any support, especially with elections around the corner. We've been there 10 plus years already.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
  119. Solitairedog

    No! What was wrong was going in there in the first place. Ever since we took down Saddam, the Sunni and the Shite have wanted to duke it out. Let 'em. I don't want to see one more US soldier dead or wounded trying to prevent the inevitible. Let's see how Muslims can protect their own freedoms, if they can. We might learn a trick or two in dealing with them.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
  120. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    We did not just walk away, we left trillions of dollars and thousands of souls for a purpose that was beyond our understanding and beyond our power to control.

    What the people of Iraq do or become is up to them, even if it means killing one another, as one day when they begin to accept the love religion teaches them then they will begin to heal and move forward no matter their insignificant differences.

    Much like we keep trying to do, but still haven't yet, one hundred and fifty years after our civil war.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
  121. Eric R

    Happy New Year Jack! We did the right thing, let Iraq save Iraq. sending money and troops there is something we can not afford to do right now.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
  122. Evelyn

    No,it was not a mistake.It was a mistake to go in to Irag .A mistake we owe President Bush and his band of war mongers based on lies and greed. The middle east has been at war since the beginning of time and will be a war in the end of time..

    January 9, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
  123. Sandstone.

    "Well I don't believe people walk away from a fight, just wait for the next conflicting circumstance to happen. There as to be a cool-off period for the next planned move. The emerates don't want you there for one, and niether does Turkey.
    Iraq is dead-centre of so much persian-empire of past. You're better off in Barain where the fleet is, now Syria is causing trouble for a new Israel/Jordan conflict still to come!"

    January 9, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
  124. Howard in Alexandria

    No, Jack, not only was it not a mistake, we should never been in Iraq to begin with. There couldn't be any other predictable outcome to replacing a ruling minority with an oppressed majority. The Sunnis and Shias have been killing one another over their sectarian differences for more than a thousand years. It was hubris for the U.S. to think it could ever rearrange Iraqi society to change that.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
  125. Alfonzo Siupud

    What is now happening in Iraq was 100% totally predictable when the USA blundered in and deposed Hussain. (under the false pretense of WMD development). Iran now owns the place, and appears to have a few WMDS of their own. Is that news, too? Thanks for pointing out the obvious.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
  126. Eric Schindler

    The Iraqi Parliament and Prime Minister voted to kick US troops out. We couldn't have stayed even if we wanted to. What a useless question.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
  127. David Martin

    Writing from Canada

    It was wrong, or ill advised to have gone into Iraq in the first place without broad international cooperation. US troops can not stay in Iraq forever. Now is the time to correct the mistakes of the Bush administration and support Iraq through the UN in the form of an international peace keeping force. US forces should not unilaterally return to Iraq or they risk further damaging their regional position as invaders and occupiers. It will be a tough sell to the rest of the world, but regional stability might trump the world community's need to tell the US "I told you so"

    January 9, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
  128. Kirby

    Errr..... "Just walk away"???? Really??? The USA negotiated a process with the government of Iraq in 2008 that had the US forces leaving Iraq no later than December 31 2011. Since late 2008, most US forces had been staying on base, and were only utilized at the request of the Iraqi government. This was designed to provide a transition period an attempt to avoid the inevitable power vacuum.

    The thinking had been that the government of Iraq would ask the US to stay and negotiate a new Status of Forces agreement. This did not happen. In fact, the government of Iraq insisted that us personnel in Iraq would be subject to Iraqi laws and courts. The government of Iraq undoubtedly knew that this requirement would be unacceptable to the USA.

    So, where was the walking away? Fact check, please.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
  129. Rolfe Parsloe

    Fools rush in where angels fear to tread. We should never have gone in. George Bush Senior did not invade for this very reason. Saddam employed strong arm tactics in part because of the sectarian problem. It is probably inevitable that the bloodshed will continue until a dominant force emerges. We could stay and spend billions more and our presence would only delay the inevitable. It is inevitable that the bloodshed will continue until a dominant force emerges aka Vietnam. It was foolish to think we could change Iraq. We should not continue to throw good money after bad. We spent almost a Trillion dollars killing one evil dictator so he can be replaced by another.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  130. Bill P

    It was time to get out. Only the warmongers are sad at our leaving. While we did not create the sectarian strife in Iraq, we are responsible for the unraveling of the control mechanism – Saddam Hussein. We gave it a shot, we lost lives, and we spent almost a trillion dollars trying to make up for a big mistake. But how long is "long enough"? The elements at play in Iraq will do what they will do whether it is today or tomorrow. We are done.

    Rancho Palos Verdes, California

    January 9, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  131. Ian in MN

    Handing over a country like this is like teaching your kid how to ride a bike. At some point you just have to let go knowing full well he or she is likely to fall and you're going to have to pick them back up and start pushing them again. If you just keep pushing your kid forever they'll stay up sure, but they won't learn how to ride. It doesn't matter how long we stayed in Iraq the possibility of a civil war breaking out the instant we leave will never go away. At some point you have to let go and allow the Iraqi people to learn what is necessary to run their country. If they falter at first we may have to go back in for a bit and help them out, but you gotta let go at some point and now is as good a time as any.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  132. Rob from Saratoga NY

    Jack,

    We aren't leaving, we were kicked out. Obama wanted to stay, but the Iraqi government said "NO". That said, it is long past due that we leave that desert and concentrate on the problems we have here at home.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  133. Rick Ledford

    Orange, Massachusetts

    This was a predicted probability before the first American boot touched Iraqi soil. And it may not be the worst outcome considering the alternative was to leave the Saddam regime in control. What was wrong was staying there so long.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  134. Paul G from Texas

    In 2002 when the crazy Bush administration was talking about invading Iraq a friend of mine from Pakistan who lived in the US for 25 years told me the Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish divide would be inevitable without the Saddam iron fist. Iraq has always been a very volatile region and no amount of US troops would fix that.

    The only long term solution for the US is stop depending on foreign oil, not continuously occupying a country. I bet a lot of solutions could have been found with the $2T the Bush administration committed to this misguided effort.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  135. JIM PRESTON

    Was it wrong to walk away from Iraq? We didn't walk away. We still have support there. But it was right to remove our combat forces. Iraq isn't worth one American life or dollar. Keeping combat or fighting forces there won't bring back the American men and women who died there.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
  136. Frank from Connellsville, PA

    It wasn’t just wrong, it was beyond irresponsible. Did we really expect to come in an in a few years get everyone to forget tribal warfare of the last 1,000? How is leaving Iraq the right thing to do, when we still have active duty troops in harm’s way protecting the South Koreans? Retreating the way we did told thousands of American families – your kid died for nothing. And those in Iraq who supported us – may God have mercy on them, because no one else will.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
  137. ken

    Jack:
    The problem here is that we can only take this country so far it is up to them to go the rest of the way. If we did not invade this nation in the first place we would not be talking about this issue JFK said we do not always expect to support our veiw but we should always expects them to support their own freedom.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
  138. freedomdem

    should have never went there.......now everyone is itching to go into iran..........ENOUGH IS ENOUGH

    January 9, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
  139. dante

    "Was it wrong for the US to walk away from Iraq?"

    We didn't just walk away from Iraq. We spent an outrageous amount of time, money, and effort training their military. Top that off with their ungrateful attitude...they didn't want us there in the first place. Not to mention the countless American lives of young men sent there to die in vain.

    You're correct in saying that Iraq has too many numberous problems to count; but, it's not up to us to hold their hand until they decide they want to get along.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  140. Paul

    C'mon Jack! Once the US acknowledged that Iraq was a sovereign nation after our occupation, it was the Iraqis' call on whether and when US troops departed. We are not "just walk(ing) away." We are respecting the independent government of Iraq to represent its people, and abiding by international law.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  141. Jenna Roseville CA

    Was it wrong for the U.S. to just walk away from Iraq?

    Jack. We did NOT just walk away from Iraq. They asked us to leave numerous times. The only way we listened to their request was when they threatened us with treating our troops like the general public when it came to arrest for their actions/no longer being protected by military code.

    We knew we weren't going to stay forever so there was no good reason to continue to put our hard earned tax dollars into that money pit of a nation.

    I for one appreciate our president bringing our troops home and an end to this fake war.

    Jenna
    Roseville CA

    January 9, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  142. thomas shelton

    we shouldn't have gone there in the first place. blame no one but chenney and bush for this mess. we can not continue to fight wars on credit... i also hope in my life time we find out why we really went there.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  143. BeverlyNC

    We should have never been in Iraq in the first place. It was a Bush and Cheney lie – a criminal act domestically and an international war crime when they added torture. We are all grateful our intelligent, foreign policy successful,President Obama has gotten our soldiers out of a fraudulent war. All that is left to do is get out of Afghanistan and send Bush and Cheney to the Hague for trial as war criminals.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  144. sutleford

    It's wrong to walk away from Iraq when you are just trying to get votes regardless of the consequences.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  145. Ron WPAFB

    No! It was wrong to go in! What ever happens after that, the blame is on Bush!

    January 9, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  146. Jon

    What's the alternative, Jack? We stay there until we're completely out of money? Where we're not wanted, in an unending quagmire – our second this decade, on top of Afghanistan? No. Unfortunately, we've done everything we can in Iraq. It's up to the people now.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  147. Harry Wortz (Little Rock, AR)

    We could have stayed for another ten years and lost another 4000 young Americans and the same things would be happening when we left. One cannot ever win the hearts and minds of a population when the war was started on lies and deception.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  148. jeff

    Jack, why don't you go to fight in Iraq or Afganistan, better yet bring your sons with you.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  149. Bob, Murphy, NC

    If we stayed in Iraq another 20 years and were able to deter a civil war during that time, after we left it would be a very short period of time before there was a civil war. There was never a good time to invade or leave Iraq. It was a loose/loose situation and we lost and will continue to loose.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  150. tom angelopoulos

    Remember the phrase, "You break it you own it". Iraq is just another failed attempt by the west to nation build.
    How many failures and lost lives will it take for the west to understand that it never has worked and it never will work.
    There would never have been a good time for the US to pull out.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  151. Jeff - Bay City

    A huge wrong Jack...can we please get over this "hope for change" stuff and get on with making change happen the old fashion way: be willing to work for it.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  152. Lee

    9 years isn't long enough for Rick Perry, Santorum, Gingrich or our future Commander-in-Chief, Mitt Romney (who sat in France on a religious deferment during the Vietnam draft)

    We should NEVER have been there! So many American lives wasted – we are bankrupt because of this misadventure based on Bush's lies to us. These guys were his cheerleaders!

    January 9, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  153. Copaseticbob

    Yes, yes it was.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  154. Ben

    We created the upheaval, we have a moral obligation to stay as long as it takes. If the current leaders in Iraq do not want us there, we would need to convince them that they need our support.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  155. TonyT

    No, it was not wrong for us to leave. What's happening now was inevitable. They will descend into civil war for decades and that, sadly, is a good thing for the U.S. in terms of our national security. The instability it will create in the region relative to Iran, Syria and Al Qeada, will have them targeting each other and their ideologies for a long time and the U.S. will become a distant enemy. This has been going on for thousands of years and there's no reason to see why it should stop now. With education lacking, their economies in the toilet and weak government infrastructures, they will cease to be a threat outside of their immediate regions. Civil war is perhaps America's greatest weapon and by far the most effective. Use their own hatred against them........

    January 9, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  156. Cary

    It was wrong to go in the first place. Sadam Hussein for as bad as he was kept the mess from exploding. There aren't two factions there are at least four and probably several I'm not aware of and none of them get along. I guess you can look at this as a "you broke it you bought it" situation but sometimes when you break something this big and this expensive sticking around will ruin you financially so running out the back door may be the only option. In truth Haliburton and the oil companies made this mess so let them fix it.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  157. Cindy Jordan

    I think Obama is right to push hard now. Once Iran has "the bomb" the opportunity to pressure them into compliance will fade drastically. Now is the moment to take advantage of their limited options.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  158. TODD

    Never should have been there in the first place...PERIOD

    January 9, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  159. Otheym

    It was wrong to go in in the first place. It was right to leave. We stayed too long as it is.
    Any suggestion to go back into Iraq is insane.
    Besides the Republicans want to go to war with Iran.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  160. Phillip

    We were wrong as a country for being there in the 1st place. That war has cost this country more than we can bare in financial assets as well as our great young service men and woman. I say this, if that country fall apart it will be of no blame to us as a country. We have done more for them that can be expected. No other country in the world including the nieghbors of that country would have done what we did for them. I know it seems harsh but we should be done and gone never to return there.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  161. Jim, Denver CO

    Jack,
    We never should have walked in there in the first place. And walking away was the right thing to do. We need to focus on the U.S. for a while before we can be involved in any other countries affairs. It is isolationist in priciple, but we need to get healthy first before we can help another country get healthy.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  162. carlos Magallanes

    Jack,
    First, this was Bush's war, and there was an agreement to leave that was signed by him. Obama merely followed the policy. Secondly, this was a stupid endeavor generated largely by the greed of Cheny as former CEO of Haliburton. Lies were told to get us into this mess. it was the first stepping stone to our deficit. It created a milieu that says we can be on a war footing and yet not sacrifice nor pay for it. The only ones who have sacrificed are our warriors, and look how we are treating them.

    Carlos M., Pasadena,Calif

    January 9, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  163. Michael from MN

    The US should never have invaded Iraq to begin with but since we created instability it was our responsibility to help them try to build a stable political system. I think we have given more than we needed to. It is now their responsibility to own the future of their country.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  164. Ray in Knoxville

    Jack, in order to keep a stabalized government in power in Iraq, the United States would have to keep a fighting force in the country forever, a fighting force that would continue to take casualties, a fighting force that we would continue to finance through our taxes, a fighting force made up overwhelmingly from middle and working class men and women who would continually put themselves in danger to satisfy the greedy whims of a minority of the investing class who seek to make greater profit. No, Jack, it was not wrong to pull out of the country as per our signed agreement with the Iraqi government.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  165. Mike in Pekin

    No, we were right to make our exit. Whatever issues exist there are not going to be solved by our stationing troops there. It may be that Iraq will break up into three countries before all of this is done – A Shiite south, Sunni West, and Kurdish North. The only reason we tried to keep it together was because of how the Oil is distributed there – Mostly in Shiite and Kurdish tribal areas. The Sunni areas are resource poor. Keeping it as one country allowed the sharing of those resources. But the sins of the Baathists, and the sovereign ambitions of the Kurds can not just be glossed over. We gave them their best shot, but Peace will not come to Iraq until all three agree to go their seperate ways.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  166. George

    The right thing to do is not the political thing to do, particularly coming upon an election year.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  167. Matt

    It was right to leave, all we would have done is waste more money we dont have ane more importantly more American troops lives. For what? You cant solve millenniums worth of hatred between suni and shiite in a decade, that would take generations.

    The number one thing the US can do for its national security is develop alternative energy sources, make the middle east and its oil a non factor in the world to come and it wont matter what goes on in these hate filled backwards countries.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  168. Steve in Small Town Ohio

    "McCain blames the Obama administration for failing to secure a long-term troop agreement with the Iraqi government." What's the President to do? Put a gun to Iraq's President and say we'er staying, periond. Now that's an agreement both parties are sure to not be happy with. We left because of lack of money to pay tribute for the privilage to stay and both sides of the polical isle know this quite well. Now that we'er out, only a political fool would rush back in. We should stand back and see if the Iraqies have the fortitude, too, to pursue the great motto "Live free or die!" It's their future at greater stake than anyone else's. I wish them the best.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  169. John

    The United States did not just "walk away" from Iraq. We spent 10 years, trillions of dollars, and many thousands of lives (including 400+ Americans) trying to impose our ideas on that country. That we failed was virtually inevitable. What would be wrong would have been trying to stay when the Iraqi government does not want us and we can no longer afford the cost of the war.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  170. Joi Gibson

    Jack,
    I'm not sure we just walked away. Much to the chagrin of some, I believe President Obama would have stayed in Iraq, albeit with a small contingency of personnel, if certain matters could have been settled, e.g., immunity for U.S. soldiers. However, that could not be guaranteed so leave we did, AND there is the matter of the Status of Forces Agreement. People-namely Republicans-thinking we should stay there for another ten years is insane. After all, aren't we broke. This is now the Iraqi government – they need to govern themselves. They said they could so have at it. We have our own problems.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  171. James, Clemmons NC

    I don't think it's was wrong at all, these groups have hated each other forever, Saddam ruled with an iron fist and we killed him for it, so just let them kill each other. ... they do not value life as we do and the sooner we stop trying to force our values on them the better. I am not willing to lose another American life for people that already hate each other.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  172. ja

    it was wrong to claim wmds (lies), at the expense of american and iraq lives, did you question that fact, we could stay for decades

    January 9, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  173. William

    Jack,
    After ten years we're not just walking away. At some point the Iraqis have to take responsibility for their own country for better or worse.
    Bill

    January 9, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  174. Jenny from Nanuet, New York

    It was wrong for the U.S. to go INTO Iraq, as President Obama knew BEFORE we went in. McCain should've known that invading Iraq would destabilize Iraq and make Iran a big winner by toppling the Sunni dictator who was a check on Iran. Now McCain and others are blaming OBAMA for the mess HE (McCain) voted to start? What a joke. We were right to get out. We can't stay there forever. Just ask Bush-who arranged the timeline with no complaints.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  175. ARScott581

    NO NO NO NO NO NO Let them take care of their own country. We have enough problems here in the USA to be big brother to all of the Middle
    east.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  176. John Buchanan

    It was wrong to go there with ground troops in the first place. We should have simply used surgical strikes and taken out what was thought to be WMD's and just let the "sectarian lines" duke it out as they have since time began.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  177. Hal

    It's late but not too late – time to let the Iraq's fight their own war .
    Money and blood for what ?

    January 9, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  178. Chris

    Is there any reason to think it would be different if we waited longer to leave? We had to leave at some time, and the Iraqis didn't want us there and the American people didn't want our troops there. This is a situation where there really was no good solution. The Iraqis need to stand or fall on their own at some point.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  179. Mitoosense Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    We walked out of Vietnam and now we trade with them. The people in Iraq and Afghanistan don't want us in their Counrty just as much as I don't want them in mine. Maybe we should focus on protecting our own borders and forget about everyone else's I'm all for killing terrorist. I'm against feeding them..

    January 9, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  180. Larry of Boston

    No Jack, we should walk away form Iran and the entire Middle East, including Israel. Iran is not a threat - neither is Afghanistan or the Taliban – not to us.

    Bring the troops home – make our presence totally covert – and work on covert ops and intelligence but get all US troops out of the public eye and out of harm's way.

    Next cut all foreign aid – to everyone – and work on our energy independence We can begin by approving the Canada to Texas pipeline and create 20,000 new jobs. How about putting the troops returning home to work on that project alomgside the civilian workers Next, lets increase our natural gas exploration ramped up I mean we have a 300 year supply of natural gas energy -- we are already energy indeoendent but are afraid to implement what we got – maybe those same troops can help us with the natural gas expansion -- instead of an army of fighting men, why not an army of working men -– we got lots of infrastructure workto do here don't we? I mean we hear how the Army is building roads, bridges, schools, sewer and water plamnts and hospitals in Iraq and afghanistan – we could use a few of those in the US –and our boys would not be shot at while they build them

    January 9, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  181. Cal in CA

    It was wrong to go in in the first place. The war killed more Iraqis than Saddam ever did. Sure we went in and smashed everything in the pottery barn. We wore out our welcome (years ago). The country had many problems when we got there. It was time get out. We need to fix America and let the Iraqis fix Iraq.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  182. johnny popper

    Ya think? Ask any of the generals conducting the war.

    I didn't like us using our boys to go in, but we did go in and coming out now, according to our experts was tragic for the people living there. Disasterous.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  183. Gina

    No way – I say run and run fast. We should NEVER have been there to begin with. If we were to stay, I would ask for the draft to be reinstated. You all want to stay, now you all play! I love how those who are not military are the first to say go, go go. Let's see how fast we start or stay in war with a draft!!

    January 9, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  184. Kevin, Chester Springs, PA

    Walked away? After 8 years? And thousands of U.S. troops killed and tens of thousands more injured? We never should've been there in the first place. And we certainly shouldn't get involved in their civil war. We were asked to leave and thank God we did! If Perry, McCain and other numnut Republicans want to go back into Iraq and nation build, let them raise the money from some of their SuperPacs and build their own army. I'd rather have my tax money putting Americans back to work repairing roads and bridges in the U.S, not blowing them up and rebuilding them in some Mideast desert.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  185. Ted

    Walk Away is a GOP talking point. We followed the plan set out by President Bush and the leaders of Iraq. Why on earth do you try to present leaving when we are asked to leaveas walking away Jack? The Republicans present it that way because they are shameless panderers to their base.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  186. Virginia

    We should never have been in Iraq to begin with. Hussein, as terrible as he was, kept Iran in check. If we stayed 50 years, we could not solve their problems. We "broke it', but cannot fix it. Leaving can help us heal, stop the enormous drain on our treasury and the Iraqos can try to resort their lives.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  187. San from Knoxville, TN

    NO!! We are not the saviors of the world. We shouldn't have been there in the first place. We are better served to spend the money in the USA.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  188. Bubba Mitchell

    We should have left after we toppled Sadam but better late than more Americans killed.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  189. Nobody N. Particular

    Jack,

    This was going to happen, Iraq is not a country but political lines drawn by England after the Ottoman Empire collapsed after WWI. It took dictators to hold this country together, and we overthrew the last one they had. This is what we call, the Law of Unintended Consequences, when you allow short-sighted people dictate foreign policy. In order for a country to gain a democracy it has to be born from the blood of their children who were willing to fight and die for it; not from some outsiders who come in remove the dictator and impose their idea of what government is on them. Perry is an idiot for even suggesting us to return, since its obvious that they don't want us (they wouldn't approve giving immunity to US soldiers, which is why we left, can't say I blame them either considering the level of innocent Iraqis killed by over zealous soldiers). Let the Iraqis drive their own fates for once, if they choose another dictator then use it as a learning experience and STOP using the US military as some sort of police/freedom fighter force for the world. I would like to limit the military's use to actual DECLARED wars, so CONGRESS can have some ACCOUNTABILITY as to how our sons and daughters are killed in action.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  190. Ed G

    NO. How can it bewrong to walk away fom a civil conflict that we had no business in being involved with in the first place. Here, two wrongs (starting this conflict and walking away from the neverending mele) do make a right. Exit stage right.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  191. Ryan from Crossville, Tennessee

    Absolutely, not!

    We gave over 4,000 lives and hundreds of billions of dollars to get rid of a vicious dictator, to rebuild their infrastructure and economy, to train their military, and to give them a chance at self-determination.

    We did our job, valiantly and courageously. Now, Iraq must stand on its own.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  192. Josh

    What does it matter? Judging by the rhetoric of the Republican presidential candidates, if elected, we will be engaged in conflict with Iran soon afterwards. Blame Obama all you want but this was an inevitability the moment the bombs started falling in 2003.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  193. Nate in CA

    Veni vicci cessi.
    I came, I conquered, I left.

    We might as well cut to the chase and hop out of afghanistan too, while we're leaving places. Either make it the 51st state, or get out through the gate.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  194. mms55

    no its not,we shouldn't been there in the first place jack.as far as i'm concerned good riddance.time for the iraqi people to rule and protect themselves.its really not any of our business who they elect or who they alley themselves with.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  195. dafox

    Jack,

    You mean we had a choice? I thought the Bush administration agreed to a timeline for withdrawal and this administration followed it. Or would you prefer we simply stayed there for the next 50 – 1000 years caught in the middle of a sectarian war. The Sunnis and Shiites started killing each other in the year 656, not 1656 or 1956, but 656!!! So what makes you think we are capable of putting and end to this longstanding violence? When our military occupied their country we became the focus of both sides enmity. Now that we are no longer there, they have gone back to their natural state of hatred for each other. This may sound callous but I would rather they kill and maim each other as they have been doing for well over a thousand years rather than our servicemen and women.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  196. db

    The majority of the Iraq people do not want us there and the terrorists definately do not want us there. We are spending money that we do not have to be there, losing men and equipment daily for no reason what so ever. We cannot be the police department of the world. Until these people chose to govern themselves and chose the type of government they want we have no business being there.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  197. JOHN IN AZ

    Yes, it was good for the U.S. to leave Iraq. We should never have gone in there in the first place and wouldn't have if Chaney/Bush had lied and schemed.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  198. Phil

    Two Wrongs do not make a Right. We were wrong to go into Iraq, then we attempted to remake the country and
    did it poorly. We left before we completed the job. But it seems that Iraq is a fool's errand and that no matter how long we stayed, when we ultimately departed, the "old ways" of pathological destruction would return.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  199. annette

    No. Keep our troops at home. They can clean up their own mess.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  200. Fred Burkhardt

    We should have never gone in in the first place.
    Trying to keep such a divided country together is not worth any more American lives.
    They will sort it out by having a civil war – it's their country.
    Is Perry willing to raise taxes to pay for all these foreign wars?

    January 9, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  201. Gary

    Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, says Iraq is in the process of "unraveling" and could split into three states: Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish.

    This is what should have been done to start with. Iraq is country conceived by the Brittish during colonial times. Only a brutal dictatorship has keeped it together. Not only was it high time to walk away we should have left sooner. They have been given years to work out there differences. Sometimes facing the brink of disater is just the motivation for coming to a solution.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  202. loathstheright

    Wrong to go there, not wrong to get the heck out.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  203. Oscar Viloria

    The United States had invested so much Money, Blood and Tears in Iraq, so to apeak. To just pull out without having gotten an agreement to leave a Sizable Number of U.S. Soldiers is a GOOD POLITICAL MOVE by Obama but a STUPID
    STRATEGIC MOVE.. What does Obama know anyway? He has NOT MANAGE A CITY or a STATE; HAS NOT
    BALANCE ANY BUDGET AND ALL HE KNOWS IS TO SPEND AND SPEND.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  204. Dano

    The US did not just “Walk away from Iraq” there are enduring Dept of State sites around the country with thousands of DOS personnel working in the country daily..

    January 9, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  205. athoughtfromflorida

    These divides were fighting before we went to Iraq, while we were in Iraq, and will be fighting years from now when we are involved in someone else's country. No it wasn't wrong to leave and yes, we should have done it a long time ago.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  206. Sandstone.

    "I also believe in (so called) sacking people? Sacking! really is another word used out of contex. People are better of doing the job they can do, rather than 'wanna-be'. If you cannot perform productively, then you're in the wrong seat!"

    January 9, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  207. Bill

    Wrong to walk?...NO...Hard to call a planned withdrawal after 10+ years just walking away. An overwhelming majority of American & Iraqi citizens have wanted us out of Iraq for years. A substantial number of Iraq war veterans view the war as a waste. Who are the hawks like McCain & Romney listening to and who are they looking to serve?
    Bill from Temple, Maine

    January 9, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  208. Jerry

    It was wrong to go into Iraq in the first place. No one from Iraq was on the 9/11 planes, no WMD, no chemical weapons program and we killed 700,000 of them mostly civilians (Washington Post). The war will cost the US trillions and many good young men lost their lives. I see no justification.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  209. deborah ballweg Seibert, co

    No, it wasn't. They have had 10 years to ready themselves for that evenuality. There will be a civil war, because of their strict and un compromising view of religeon and it would have happened if we stayed there for 50 years. They have to work this out themselves. No one helped us.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  210. Chuk

    Yeah, go back in and stay forever. Warmongers like McCain are too far away from reality to see that the US cannot remain in Iraq forever. Waiting until there is no civil disagreement is fallacy. There will always be civil disagreements – how about the US, is everyone getting along?
    Meanwhile, the same actors who want to stay "indefinitely" turn around and bitch about the cost of the war both in lives and money. Go figure. Perhaps there's a way to stay there at no cost whatsoever.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  211. John In Mass

    Our own country's financial survival canot afford to continue to spend money as policemen in either Iraq or Afganistan. Our own economy is more important.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  212. Marine5484

    Jack we gave them as much help as we possibly could to help them succeed. We couldn't stay forever and they needed to take control of their own country.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  213. Joe Ft Walton Bch Fl

    Not really. Besides it was a waste of servicemembers that died or wounded over there. Iraq is heading towards a civil war and will be on the way to Iran.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  214. jim

    Why is it wrong to walk away from an illegal war? What am I missing?

    January 9, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  215. Mark in Ann Arbor

    I'm still waiting for the oil riches the left claimed were the predicate for going into Iraq in the first place.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  216. Ron WPAFB

    I really get sick of the pansies crying that we have to fix Iraq. The same ones got us in this mess! Bush pushed us into Iraq, after that, nothing was going to help. We destroyed their infrastructure, their water facilities, their antiquities and historical sites, their communication and electrical stations. We destroyed their country and killed the only man that kept them from killing each other, Sadam Hussein! Yeah yeah, he was a bad guy, but we're not in the Bad Guy killing business, and before you start, we didn't kill Gadaffi, they did!

    Bush and Cheney pushed us into this war for personal and monetary reasons. Cheney and his cronies made a fortune on the Military Industrial Complex supplying this war! You know, a large chunk of the National Debt! They have it now! Regardless, WE CAN"T FIX THIS! What's done is done and it's going to get bloodier. Non the less, we're done. Hell Iraq would win a Law Suite against the US for this screw up! Was it a mistake to leave, Hell no! It was a mistake to go in!!

    January 9, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  217. Dan

    We Ran in uninvited.. We we're shown the door out

    January 9, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  218. SonOfVirginia

    No Jack, we should have maintained a military presence there. President Obama, dropped the ball on this. This will come back to haunt us if Iraq becomes unstable. President Bush set the time table, but president Obama owns it from 1/9/2009

    Ken

    January 9, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  219. Hisarrow

    Emphatically no. We are not "just walking away." I find that phrase idiotic. Our involvement in Iraq has been drawn out far past when it should have ended. They are a sovereign nation. It's time we treat them like one.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  220. Martin in Arkansas

    What your viewers are missing is the difference between the "It was a bad idea to go into Iraq" and "It was a good idea to leave Iraq this way and now". Most Americans agree the Iraq war was a mistake regardless of the reasons. I agree with John McCain, leaving a few thousand troops in Iraq to provide some stability, (not Combat Support) would have been better. We have troops all over the Globe who fulfill such roles. The real problem wasn't the agreement signed by Bush; it was the fact that the Iraqis would not give US Troop Immunity from Iraqi justice. The Obama Administration was looking for a way to keep some troops in Iraq and finally gave up and pulled out. I fear the very mess than John McCain warned us about. Making a second bad mistake to correct the first bad mistake is not reasonable or sensible. Hopefully, we find ourselves forced to go back into Iraq in a few years because of the mess we left behind.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  221. Charles in Colo

    Obama did the correct thing by bringing the troops home from Iraq. The Bush war was needless, illegal, and devestatingly expensive in lives and our economy, not to mention to wrecking our standing in the world.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  222. Beth

    No...it's time for them to take charge of their own country. We cannot make Iraq into a US colony.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  223. Dinu

    Congratulations to Obama! He did the very right thing. The whole Iraq invasion was a big fat lie. If we could not find the elusive WMD why did we stay 10yrs? Or are we still looking for them? That is why we went in Iraq, isnt it?

    January 9, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  224. Matthew Johnson

    It wasn't wrong for the U.S. to pull out from Iraq. Iraq had plenty of time and money to stand up for themselves. If the Iraqis want to be hard headed and split into 3 states then good for them, if they want to blow each other up then let them. We have no business on being there. They just want our money so they can buy bomb making materials, and pay off insurgents thats about it.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  225. Jon Holzbaugh

    No. Let them go ahead and kill each other! If we stayed 10 more years, the result would be the same, except we would lose more blood and money.

    Jon/ Phoenix, AZ

    January 9, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  226. obamasukz

    yes, Obama only did it for reelection, he don't care at all about the men who lost their lives to improve the country and relations.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  227. Lester

    There are plenty of countries mired in political. It is not appropriate to send American service personnel to die for other people's internal problems, unless vital US nation interests are involve. Iraq (a relatively small, weak, poorly governed Middle Eastern country) simply isn't that important.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  228. Hannah

    No, we couldn't stay forever without draining our treasury and the loss of more lives. We should never have gone in there in the first place. But You know, WMD's Now we are hearing the same drum beat for war, especially with the Republicans on Iran. You can bet that if we have a Republican president in 2013, we will again go to war with Iran this time. I told that to my friends when they were first deciding whether to vote for Bush or not. I told them that he would take us to war. They laughed and said that wouldn't happen. But it did and here we are in the mess that we're in. Thanks to GWB and company.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  229. GrogInOhio

    Was it wrong for the U.S. to just walk away from Iraq? Not nearly as wrong as going in there in the first place... for no good reason. IMHO, Iraq was ripe for sectarian violence as soon as Saddam was taken down, no matter who took him down, externally or internal. Like the old Czechoslovakia, the nation was held together only by a dictator's iron fist.

    Mike in Columbus, OH

    January 9, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  230. Martin in Arkansas

    What your viewers are missing is the difference between the "It was a bad idea to go into Iraq" and "It was a good idea to leave Iraq this way and now". Most Americans agree the Iraq war was a mistake regardless of the reasons. I agree with John McCain, leaving a few thousand troops in Iraq to provide some stability, (not Combat Support) would have been better. We have troops all over the Globe who fulfill such roles. The real problem wasn't the agreement signed by Bush; it was the fact that the Iraqis would not give US Troops Immunity from Iraqi justice. The Obama Administration was looking for a way to keep some troops in Iraq and finally gave up and pulled out. I fear the very mess than John McCain warned us about. Making a second bad mistake to correct the first bad mistake is not reasonable or sensible. Hopefully, we won’t find ourselves forced to go back into Iraq in a few years because of the mess we left behind. (I made some correction that m ake my thoughts make more sense)

    January 9, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  231. Sammy in NJ

    We should not have been there in the first place. We should have finished the job in Afghanistan, first get the killer of our people then go home. What will happen today in Iraq will happen next week the month after or even a year later regardless of staying or leaving. We want our brave back and let the wise guys study the history and understand the motives and the cultural differences of that region.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  232. Gordon B.

    We shouldn't have been in there in the first place, but with the minority Shiites in power, it would only be a matter of time when the Sunnis would seek retribution, regardless of what time we left. Wwe cannot police the world!

    January 9, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  233. Steve in Alabama

    It's time to walk away from the entire middle east and let them bring themselves down. Remain true to our alliance with Israel. Beyond that, forget sanctions as large objects dropped from B-52's are much more effective as a deterent.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  234. Lester

    There are plenty of countries mired in political crises. It is not appropriate to send American service personnel to die for other people's internal problems, unless vital US national interests are involved. Iraq (a relatively small, weak, poorly governed Middle Eastern country) simply isn't that important.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  235. thom richer

    Jack, besides the fact that we did not just "walk away" from Iraq, the question is merely meant to cause political riffs between Democrats and Republicans and boost ratings. It was wrong for us to be there in the first place. This fact of us wrongfully being in Iraq from day one cannot be ignored, denied, or spun with any validity. For any news agency to continue covering this fact up for the past 10 years is a crime in itself. It is shameful and hurtful to all Americans. With help from the media, military, Congress, and Wall Street, Americans have come to accept and even expect us to be at war with other countries as a matter of economic policy and is accepted without thought to what war really is. Especially because of Wall Street/Corporate America, our economy is now based on war. War is the new Wall Street. Media questions or notions such as this question supports such brain control of Americans. No, it was absolutely correct for us to leave Iraq. In fact we had a moral obligation to the world to do so.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    January 9, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  236. Jeff in Bishop, Georgia

    Mr. Cafferty, if Iraq were willing to compensate the US the time for our efforts, I'd say sure. I'd say the US should offer the Iraqis $3 for every barrel of oil they produce... and not a penny more

    January 9, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  237. Renee Peoria,Ill

    It was wrong for us to go in there in the first place. While you're at it, why don't you rattle off a list of the problems in Syria, Egypt, Lybia or any of a dozen other countries teetering on the brink. Should we send troops everywhere? Bottom line is – we can't solve their problems for them. We can't make them get along. No one can do that for anybody. Like it or not, if they're going to grow up and start dealing with their own problems, they're going to have to do it on their own. Support is great, but you can't babysit for an entire country. We need to restrict our support to those who ask for it. Lybia asked, Syrians are asking now, but so far we're ignoring them. Iraq never asked, we never should have been there.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  238. Dave, CA

    Thanks GWB for the unfunded war! Now the bills are coming in and all those armchair saber rattlers have their panties in a knot that the country's bankrupt and can only blame Obama who inherited the disaster. Thanks GOP! The fact that Rick Santorum is even in the running shows how clueless and out of touch with reality you m o r o n s really are.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  239. Antonio in Phoenix

    "Walking away" 5 years ago or 5 years from now would have provided the same results. If we didn't want Iran to run Iraq, we should not have made Iraq a democracy. The Iraqi Shiite majority fought with Iranian Shiites during the 80's Iraq-Iran war. Why are we now suprised how things are turning out?

    January 9, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  240. Mike in SA

    Jack, a journalist like you should know that Obama didn't take the troops out of Iraq because he had promised to do so. The troops left Iraq because even though Obama was negotiating to extend their stay, Iraq ultimate said "No." Leaving Iraq wasn't our idea or intention. It was theirs. Just so we're clear on...you know...historical fact.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  241. Kendall Hewitt

    It was wrong to go in the first time. All that was accomplished is that we borrowed billions that we can't afford and I don't know how to calculate the loss of lives and the serious injuries. We need to just butt out.

    Kendall Hewitt

    January 9, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
  242. JD

    Minor correction: The US invaded Iraq on March 20, 2003. That was just under 9 years ago, not 10. That said, 9 years is too long for a war that should never have been started by the US in the first place. The UN weapons inspectors in the second round of inspections under Bush repeatedly stated that they found NO evidence of any WMD, and that they were able to go anywhere they wanted and inspect anything they wanted. Why? THERE WAS NOTHING THERE! The inspections conducted under Clinton, which WERE resisted by Saddam's regime destroyed virtually everything, including the manufacturing facilities. Yes, Saddam was a horrible tyrant. So are the governments of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain which the US supports. So was the government of Egypt, which the US supported. So were the governments of Tunisia and Libya. Why not invade half the countries in the world, since that is how many have tyrannical governments, most of which the US supports? Iraq is currently in no worse shape than Libya, which got this way largely because of the US Air Force bombers. Let them work out their OWN government.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
  243. Marcelo - Los Angeles

    Ten years was plenty of time for a war started over lies from a corrupt administration. Going to war was wrong. Coming home now, was right. Iraq will now have its Arab Spring and one they can call their own.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
  244. Steve from South San Francisco

    Every country needs some form of support that another, better equipped, nation could provide.
    That's not the point. The question should instead be: Was it wrong for the US to presume that a hasty ill-conceived
    invasion would solve this country's problems?

    January 9, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
  245. Rufus

    Beside the fact that that we shouldn't have been there in the first place, Iraq wanted us to leave. Iraq wouldn't allow the U.S. military to be excluded from criminal prosecution. We essentially had no choice.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
  246. Mike Murphy

    Kinda makes you miss Sadaam. At least he kept his countrymen under control. Bush was and is a screw up, and now it is beginning to show. Where is mad-dog Cheney in all this?

    January 9, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
  247. DB

    We should have NEVER been there in the first place. Iraq was the single greatest check against Iran before the Bush warmongers devastated the country. Now we have a weak Iraq, a strong Iran, and a terrible USA economy. Invading Iraq was one of the worst US foreign policy moves of all time. Thanks a lot Dick and George.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
  248. cog in the wheel

    It was a terrible mistake to invade Iraq. We should not have been there at all. We've spent the last 4-5 years and trillions of dollars trying to rebuild what we destroyed. Eventually that has to end....and given that the Iraqi's themselves insisted on that withdrawal date, I for one would NOT SUPPORT staying there any longer. The Iraqis need to determine for themselves how to run their country.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
  249. Staci-OR

    The agreement which protected our troops from Iraqi laws expired. President Obama wanted to stay longer but when we were literally kicked out by the Iraqi parliament (who wouldn't extend it), our leader quickly called it a campaign promise kept. Transparency at it's worst.

    Why isn't this information included in the opinion piece? Kinda sad.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
  250. Tom Cummings, Denver Colorado

    We made a mistake going into Iraq....we'd be making the same mistake again if we went back...John McCain thrives on on military actions....I'm glad he's not our Commander In Chief

    January 9, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
  251. Heather GR MI

    We could have stayed there 100 years and civil war would still erupt, if nothing else history teaches us that the mid-east knows how to hold a grudge against each other that can last. They may need to have an all out civil war to have a stable country in the end. We had our civil war and turned out ok after.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
  252. freddy

    Wow, I can't believe you don't think it was right to invade these guys, Saddam tried to kill Dubyas daddy, remember? Jeez, if you were president and your father was threatened like that, you would do the same thing. Bunch of liberal, CNN loving freaks!

    January 9, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  253. Tim Semic

    I am an American and I love our country. But here's our pattern; We go into troubled countries containing ruthless dictators, oust the dictators, promise a better life to the people, and act on that promise. Then the clock runs out and we CUT N' RUN. Leaving all of our supporters In Country in danger, and the country headed for chaos.

    We need to either stay the course for success, or never go in there in the first place. Yes, it's that simple! If we can financially afford it, then I say we go in. Both of their and our sacrifices would have been worth it if we could better the lives of the world's people. That's how many of their people and our own soldier's feel, not just my opinion. I feel that if we 'cut and run', then our soldiers have given their lives for nothing! Shame on US. As a whole we are selfish and shortsighted. Regarding Iraq, It was easy for me to see this coming.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  254. Matt, San Diego, CA

    No Jack,

    WE shouldn't have been there in the first place, and Iraq asked us to leave under a deal brokered by Bush. Iraq has responsibility for its own people, it was NEVER ours!

    January 9, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  255. John M

    How did you feel when you realised that there were no WMDs in Iraq?

    January 9, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  256. andyz Lynn, MA

    "Darth Vader" Cheney could not find a way to steal Iraqi oil so yes, it was right. In fact it was wrong to go to war on falsified evidence. Why haven't the DC 3, Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld, been brought to trial for lying to the American public and world about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction? Sometimes I just don't understand democracy.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  257. C

    We installed Saddam, armed Saddam to wage war against Iran, entrapped Saddam into invading Kuwait and then attacked Iraq, and then attacked Iraq again and overthrew the government preemptively over false intel on WMD's (which we originally supplied Saddam with). Iran was put in check with Saddam in power in Iraq. There were no bombings. There was infrastructure, people had power and food (what they could have despite our heavy sanctions) and no civil war. Saddam was a bad guy, but had nothing to do with 9/11 and because of our illegal war and invasion, the country and entire region is in turmoil. Had the United States only focused on the Taliban and Al Qaeda, the world and Iraq would be so much better off. Let this be yet another lesson why we should stop invading nations and FOREIGN MEDDLING. THEY DON'T WANT US THERE!!!! Would you want another nations army in your country?!?

    January 9, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  258. Jamez Madness - St Pete FL

    This would have been the result if we left Iraq 20 years from now. This is a big country that houses many different competing factions.....ever wonder why Saddam ruled with such an iron fist? The only united Iraq we have seen since the fall of Saddam was an Iraq united against the American cause, now that we are gone they have no one left to fight but themselves.....I don't have a problem with that.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
  259. Cy Gardner

    It was WRONG to charge into Iraq under false pretenses. It would be stupid to keep pouring money into the sand when we are going broke at home. Why all the concern about dead Iraqis now, Jack? How often did CNN mention civilian casualties or the Christian diaspora or the infrastructure destruction caused by our stupid invasion during 2003 – 2007? The GOP certainly didn't care about 100,000 dead Iraqis during the Bush administration, I'm skeptical about the depth of their concern now that a Democrat is in the White House. The GOP plays politics with foreign policy and corporate media types like you help them. We should let the Iraqis fend for themselves the same way we do for the Burmese, the Chinese and anyone else who lives in a totalitarian country that lacks significant oil reserves. cy from arlington, va

    January 9, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  260. Rick from L.A

    So in 10 years all we managed to do is delay the inevitable. It was no wrong to walk away from Iraq, it was wrong to stay for so long.
    You cannot solve a millennia old problem with decades of occupation.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  261. robert hunter

    We can never walk away from the Truth that the U.S. in Iraq with the Armed Services and private contractors, killed and wounded hundreds of thousands of men, women, children. This is to be never forgotten in world history
    Bob

    January 9, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
  262. Jerod from Nashville

    Absolutely not. Kudos to Obama for having the political courage to do the right thing.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
  263. Mycroft Lake Travis

    No Jack, What was wrong was invading Iraq and letting War Criminals Bush and Cheney get off with the murder, maiming, and torture of millions of innocent people, just so they could control Iraqi oil and push gasoline prices up 200 to 300%.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
  264. Indy Jim

    Not wrong to walk away, because in a big enough conflict, we have a large enough contingent a short bit away that can respond with overwhelming force. At some point you have to turn the baby loose and let them walk, or fall. Bad guys on the ground used our presence as an excuse for violence, now they can't do that anymore.

    You can lead a horse to water, but I can't remember the rest.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
  265. marybeth, massachusetts

    Walk away? Walk away? Are you kidding me Jack? Walk away? The last time I looked, Iraq is not the 51st state of the U.S., nor is it like Puerto Rico, nor is it a territory like Guam or American Samoa or the U.S. Virgin Islands. We don't own Iraq. We had no business being there. We were there for nearly 9 years...poured millions of dollars into the country, over 4500 servicemen and women lost their lives, and many, many, many more returned alive but wounded–physically and mentally. It is time that we take care of our country and our people first. We do not have to be the world's policeman.

    Iraq is an independent nation, which means Iraq gets to decide its own government (or lack thereof), its own laws, its own economy, its own religion. President Wilson had a word for it–self-determination. Iraq should be responsible for itself. If Iraq disintegrates into civil, so be it. Let them fight it out among themselves. Many countries have civil wars; some reunite (like the US did after the American Civil War, like Britain after the English Civil War, like Spain after the Spanish Civil War, like Russia/Soviet Union after their civil war), some do not (like the former Yugoslavia) and decide it is better to split up into separate countries than to be fighting eachother. Some countries don't reach the point of civil war but decide politically to get a divorce because their differences are too great (like the former Czechoslovakia and the former USSR in the early 1990's).

    I'm not surprised by what is happening in Iraq–as long as US troops were there, we united Iraqis so Sunnis and Shi'ias fought us. Now that we're not there, they're fighting eachother. Let them fight eachother. Maybe the country needs to split up–one region for Sunnis, one for Shi'ias, and one for the Kurds. That would be okay. What would not be okay would be for us to do what the Republicans are howling indignantly about–stick our noses back into Iraq.

    Funny how they complained that Obama lied, didn't keep a campaign promise to get the troops out of Iraq, then howled with indignation when he wound down the mission and brought the troops home. They complained about him starting a new war (Libya, Africa), and now are complaining that he should keep the war in Iraq going. They're worse than whiny toddlers who want something right this instant, then change their minds without reason. They can't have it both ways. Obama did the right thing. Now....bring the troops home from Afghanistan. That war has been going on for 10 years, too long. Just ask the Russians (1979-1989) and the British (1850's) how well trying to control Afghanistan worked for them. Big hint: it didn't: both left with their tails between their legs, with only loss of life and money and resources with nothing to show for it.

    Any politician who wants to start another war in the region should be made to take several upper level history courses so they get a sense of who tried this before and how it worked out. Maybe, just maybe, they won't make the same mistakes over and over again.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
  266. Steve Mix

    The country as a whole did not want us there, they are killing our troops that are there trying to help them. The United states does not want their country, they have been having issues with each other for many years before our going there. It is time to stop thinking that we make any difference there or it is time to send some of the old people that keep wanting us there to risk the chance of them being killed also. A Viet Nam era veteran!

    January 9, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
  267. ahetch

    Even if we had stayed in Iraq for 100 years like McCain wanted, the outcome would have been the same.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
  268. GeneK

    What's happening now was inevitable the day we went in and is just as inevitable now. The tragic reality is that every person who was wounded or killed trying to fight for whatever they were told they were fighting for in Iraq was deceived by those who sent them there and their sacrifices were for nothing. Nobody else should be asked to throw their lives away for more of the same.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
  269. Frank

    No! We were wrong to go in in the first place and should have left a long time ago.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  270. Chris

    A civil war was exactly what people said would happen. If it does, are people really going to be surprised? Seriously?

    January 9, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  271. chuck d

    Walk away? what are you talking about, how many years were we over there?
    How many Americans died there?
    How much money have we spent there?
    For what? How many countries still have troops there?
    We shouldn't have been there in the first place We did our job, if they aren't prepared by now to protect themselves
    when will they be?

    January 9, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  272. James In California

    No. We shouldn't have been there in the first place. The Muslim world loves to fight. If they aren't fighting "foreign invaders," then they are fighting each other over different religious ideology. You can't teach these people democracy, it's just not apart of their culture.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  273. Ben

    This is maddening, are politicians insane or just that stupid? The only thing that kept the Sunni-Shia-Kurd coalition together was our inevitable exit. The Iraqi leaders realized the fastest way for the US to leave was to create a mirage. Gen. Abizaid said it best, "Any lasting peace must come from political reconciliation first, temporarily increasing security will not guarantee that." It's not as if nobody saw this coming, so why is there any surprise? – Eugene, OR

    January 9, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  274. Big_D

    Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish states should replace Iraq. Nation building is a folly and we should have never tried it again. If Iraq breaks apart Iran will crumble soon afterward. They are both colonial states with no common heritage.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
  275. Bob

    The "wrong" is that those responsible for launching the Iraq military attack have not been put on trial, convicted, and hung. Little difference between this fiasco and Nazi Germany's attack on Poland. A hideoulsy stupid and immoral act, any involved with which ought to be tried. Thos who voted for bush the second time around are no better than the immoral slime who lined the streets of Nurembur and Berlin to cheer Hitler.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
  276. Cy Gardner

    It's THEIR country and they told us to leave. What part of "Get the Freak Out" don't you understand? We helped them set up a democracy. They elected leaders. Their leaders told us to blow. We apparently overstayed our "welcome". Now the only people who wish we stayed longer are the politicallly manipulative idiots who reflexively oppose any and all measures taken by the Obama administration on any and all matters. Been there. Done that. Can't afford a T-shirt. cy from arlington, va

    January 9, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
  277. lineman

    We should ask the military personell who woud have to occupy Iraq whether this country is worth their lives. Of course if you asked any soldier of any country in history if a war that wasn't in defense of their country was worth it or not you would always get the same answer. We should ask G.W. Bush what to do, he surly wasn't stupid enough to start a war without an exit strategy. His exit strategy for the war is the same as his exit strategy for his economy – go back to Texas and drink beer.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
  278. PeteInOhio

    Yes. Regardless of who is still there, hired guns or not, U.S. military presence represents a major committment by the United States. Mr. Obama made a political decision to pull out because of election promises and the impending election year, not based on the stability. We have placed ourselves in the uncomfortable position of owning the result. The decision was not good for Iraq or America. One final note, anyone expecting Middle Eastern country leaders to thank us for "freeing" them do not understand the politics nor mentality there.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
  279. Paul Dumouchelle

    Our only mistake is that we didn't run away faster and have never held our leaders accountable for the war crimes committed in 2003. The frictions in Iraqi society are beyond our ability to control and influence. We will need to manage our interests in the region as an outside sovereign power within the limits of proper interaction with other sovereign powers.

    Dublin, OH

    January 9, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
  280. Pete/Ark

    Tne previous administration negotiated the date ,we offered to stay ,Iraq would not agree,we left as promised. Now the various sides have no one else to blame for the violence and death. Did we "walk away? Yes ,with Honor. Was it right? It was the ONLY right thing to do.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
  281. Harold, Phoenix,AZ.

    No it was not wrong to walk away. We attacked Iraq because we wanted too. After four thousand plus American dead and at least one hundred thousand dead on the Iraq side its time to leave. We must get ready to start a war with Iran, we will find a reason, any reason will do, the war machine needs action Listen to the non serving war mongering candidates for the Presidency.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
  282. Texas T

    I think it was wrong for us to walk away because the current government of Iraq will continue to give oil and gas rights to China and Russia over the US, and because we no longer have 200k troops on Iran's western border. We should have used our intelligence capabilities to assassinate or overthrow Saddam, then install a new regime just as repressive but more favorable to us. Saddam did actually have WMD–he used them on the Kurds in the 80s. The truth is that Americans are safer today than they were before the invasion, because they're killing each other over there instead of over here.

    T.T. from Dallas, Texas

    January 9, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
  283. Larry in Houston

    ""Was it wrong for the U.S. to just walk away from Iraq ? ""To put it bluntly: Iraq's problems are too numerous to count""
    Sounds like you Just answered your question, Jack. – Now, you know why Perry is polling below 5% . If we had a republican in there, (instead of Obama) (McCain for instance) we most likely still would be There, in Iraq, period. What do they want us to do, Jack ? stay in there forever, and Protect them Forever, huh Jack ?? Saddam was Their Police, but now, everytime a "bully" wants to do or say something to them ( Iraq) or some kind of religious faction says or does something, WE are "supposed" to constantly Protect them ?? How long Jack ?? No wonder people will blame "Bush" for that War. They will probably blame him & Cheny forever for it. I don't know if you will print this or not, Jack, but let me say something else : GOD Help us, IF we're in another Middle Eastern War, believe me. For some odd / unknown reason or another, you take people like Perry / and Santorum ( and others) THINK that we can Just go in there, and be in there forever, because once you're IN, you Cannot Get Out ! How come our "candidates" don't use their Brain to "think" about it – – Those people over there don't care about their OWN Lives, ( ie: blow theirselves up & taking others with them) so why should they care about anybody else's lives ?

    Here is My Opinion : Why don't we Just let them Fight each other – til they kill each other off ? This way, we won't have to spill any more of our blood & treasure.

    Larry in Houston

    January 9, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
  284. Bryan Price in Florida

    Regardless of how we got there, the Iraqis are now our friends, and we have been STRONGLY urged to get out of their house. Yes, we needed to get the heck out of Dodge there.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
  285. John, Kansas

    Getting out on schedule is the right thing for many reasons. First, it shows to the people in the Middle East that we had no intention to occupy Iraq forever. We helped them set up a representative government, gave them the tools, and left when we said. Those facts alone will help restore our damaged credibility in the region. What the Iraqis make of their chance is up to them. Let's hope they use it wisely. Yes, we lost 4000 soldiers, but remember that the Iraqis lost many times that number. Only they can decide if the project was worthwhile.

    January 9, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
  286. Amit

    Its sad to know all the problems with Iraq, but there is another country with some serious economy and job issues, people desperate to meet there ends meet, the yound college graduates being unemployed at historic levels. I think US needs to get its priorities right.

    January 9, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
  287. betty allen

    The right thing to do in all caps!!!! The entire US "occupation" was based on a lie. If anything, as we were there for all the wrong reasons, departure was long overdue!

    January 9, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
  288. David

    Umm, how about no. Never should have been there anyway and the potential for internal conflict would have existed 5, 10, etc. years down the road. The repub. candidates and other leading repubs (Perry, McCain, etc) that say they would bring troops back to Iraq are coming across as ill informed war mongers.

    January 9, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
  289. Jeffery, Toledo, Ohio

    No. One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result. The war in Iraq was probably the biggest foreign policy blunder in American history–why repeat it? If we really want to bring this whole affair to a just and proper conclusion, we should follow the lead of Vincent Bugliosi, the former Los Angeles County Prosecutor who put Charles Manson behind bars, in calling for the prosecution of George W. Bush, and others in the Bush administration, for first-degree murder, for the deaths of over 4,000 Americans, and tens of thousands of Iraqi citizens in a war that was started under the false pretense of WMD's.

    January 9, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
  290. John, Encino, California

    It would have been wrong to walk away from Iraq. On the other, running, driving, flying, or taking a speedboat away from that God-foresaken place would have been the right thing to do.

    January 9, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
  291. Dave

    No it wasnt wrong. It's no surprise that flareups happened after we left.
    They have been saying for months they were going to stop the attacks until after we left. Therefore it should absolutely be no surprise to see the flareups develop.
    The country will either stay the course or will fall into civil war. We cant make the horse drink the water. We can only lead them to it.

    January 9, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
  292. Pete, Columbus Ohio

    Yes. Regardless of who is still there, hired guns or not, U.S. military presence represents a major committment by the United States. Mr. Obama made a political decision to pull out because of election promises and the impending election year, not based on the stability. We have placed ourselves in the uncomfortable position of owning the result. The decision was not good for Iraq or America. One final note, anyone expecting Middle Eastern country leaders to thank us for "freeing" them do not understand the politics nor mentality there.

    January 9, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
  293. Ann from Charleston SC

    I do not think it was wrong for the US to "walk away" from Iraq. We could stay there for all of eternity and the Iraqi people would start fight as soon as we left. They asked us to leave, so we honored their request. The US needs to let Iraq solve their issues without our interference. So what if Iraq is in the process of "unraveling" and could split into three states: Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish? My only regret is the loss of American lives while we were there.

    January 9, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
  294. Gerard

    No, what was wrong, was to invade Iraq in the first place.

    January 9, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
  295. pasha77

    Our troops should never have been there in the first place. Second, the Iraqi's hate each other so much, they are going to kill each other anyway. This has been going on for centuries. Why should the U.S. loose any more troops over there.

    January 9, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
  296. Sirned

    It was wrong to go into Iraq. We killed a million people. We bombed a country into ruins. We gave Iran the chance to gain influence in Iraq. Thousands of Americans lost their lives for for WMDs that didn't exist. We spent close to a trillion of dollars and that number will go up due to medical costs of soldiers continuing care for the rest of their lives...The days of Cow Boy foreign policy needs to end....

    January 9, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
  297. John

    It was not the wrong decision to leave Iraq. There is a point where the circumstances dictate the ex-filtration of combat troops by a measure of whether resistance is related to the the objective of wartime maneuvers or the mere fact that presence of foreign troops and associated policies are causing persistent low-level conflict for its own sake.

    If circumstances warrant reactivation of war policy directives and active presence of troops to fight terrorism or respond to matters of national safety, then we return. Otherwise, the people of Iraq need to make their own path to a secure and safe government for its people and within the acceptance of the United Nations.

    The only element driving Cafferty to make such comments is pandering to big U.S. defense contractors, who make billions while this nation is at war.

    January 9, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
  298. Greg Turman

    Jack;

    Ethanol is a failure , wind turbines are a laugh, Solyndra was a bust & our commander in chief doesn't like U.S. oil nor gas. (Did I mention GM is adding a shift to make SUV's)
    Extremist's stated mission is to destroy the U.S. economy. Pulling out of Iraq right now is incredibly timely. One ship in the Hormuz Strait can severly cripple the entire world.
    Is this what progressive's mean by "Leaning Forward"?
    Regards,
    gregory Turman
    Dallas,Texas

    January 9, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
  299. Karen, Idaho

    We should not have been in Iraq in the first place. They are in the process of reorganizing their country into the format they want. If it takes civil war among the tribes to accomplish it, then so be it. In the end, three separate states may be the best solution to their problems. Whatever happens should be determined by the Iraqi people, not the do-gooders in the United States–we are not their keepers.

    January 9, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
  300. Alden Jones

    We should have never been there in the first place. We invade nations to spread democracy and hand the US tax payers the bill while we continue to hand billions each year to these nations that are perfectly capable of supporting themselves.
    No wonder we are ruining our economy. Are we an empire or a republic?

    January 9, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
  301. Dean

    Should have never gone in in the 1st place. When you do go in, however, you have to have an exit strategy. Failed on both counts.

    January 9, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
  302. John

    No Jack ,because we shouldn't have been there In the first Place. We was there on a Republican LIE that got over 4500 dead and a lot wound for nothing. But to make Bush Happy.

    January 9, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
  303. Cee.La

    Duh No, No, No.............if the Iraqi;s cannot govern themselves civily after 10 years and uncountable American resources.....then what makes you think anything less than what we did in Japan after World War 11.....would work.? We should not have been there to begin with.....it was dumb......

    January 9, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
  304. Ryan from Phoenix AZ

    No it was not wrong for us to get out of there. We have too much of a footprint all over the world. It is time we withdrew troops from places where we are no longer needed and devote those resources to fixing domestic issues. How many 6th graders can even find Iraq on a map?

    Even so, if we were to do what Rick Perry wants, then it will be like having G.W. in office all over again. Oh god! I wouldn't want to live in this country if we had to suffer through another 4 years of that !

    January 9, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
  305. Scott in Arizona

    Truth be told, the US government would have preferred to maintain enough presence in Iraq to protect its interests (i.e. oil). Unfortunately, Iraq "asked" us to leave, and since it had been previously negotiated by the Bush administration, we left (except for the CIA). If US "interests" in the region are at risk, we'll be sending our young back into that God-forsaken area.

    January 9, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
  306. John N Florida

    No. Should the French have maintained an Army in the colonies? We GAVE those people an opportunity FOR freedom. What they choose to do with that opportunity is up to them, good or bad.
    Did George Washington implore Lafayette to stay?

    January 9, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
  307. Paulie

    We should have just let Saddam Hussein continue to mass murder Kurds and other Iraqi citizens and rule Iraq as a dictator. What were we thinking trying to free their country and save the lives of the innocent? We should have let his sons rape and torture people with cattle prods while they used heroin. I mean we are the USA we arent like supposed to protect the innocent people of the world and spread of the world right? We are just supposed to allow abuse of human rights, torture, murder and death in other countries right democrats? Lets just all be selfish! ME ME ME

    January 9, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
  308. H @ Idaho

    Unless we were willing to spend the blood and treasure to stay there for many many decades, "walking away" was the only option. The only question was when we would do that. What happens after we leave would not change if we had stayed another 5 years or had left 5 years ago instead of now.

    January 9, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
  309. Jim

    Ready to unravel? Political deadlock? is McCain talking about Iraq or the U.S.? And now Perry is inclined to send U.S. troops BACK to Iraq? It appears the GOP has learned absolutely nothinhg in ten years. I predict a similar power vacum when the U.S. is gone for good from Afghanistan.

    January 9, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
  310. Charlies Gallo from MA

    It is their country, if they can not live in peace with each other it is their problem not ours. Are we to be there 100 years, because when we leave they will be killing each other. This war has lasted longer then WWII, has more then 4,000 Americans killed and has cost more then half a trillion dollars. For what? We can not let our fear that the answer will be "for nothing", keep us there increasing the cost, but never able to change the answer.

    January 9, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
  311. Stevefromsacramento

    Iraq wanted the US out, and President Obama respected that wish. They were and are not ready for it though. I think the U.N. should have Peacekeepers intervene until stability can be restored.

    January 9, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
  312. Dwight

    Looks like most people agree that we should never had gone and that we couldn't have left a moment too soon. Plenty of blame to go around the table if everyone wants to politicize it. In the end, like the Vietnamese, its their country. They have to decide how they want to exist in the world.

    January 9, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
  313. Paulie

    If we had not left. Whats happening now would probably not be happening or attacks would be less frequent. This is what the people who carry water for the Obama administration wont tell you.

    January 9, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
  314. KC Rick

    Jack,

    Are you just waking up to this now? Where were you months ago when the pull-out was announced?

    January 9, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
  315. Glenn

    No Jack it wasn't. It's their country. They didn't want us there anymore. Any one that didn't see the inevitable Sunni – Shia conflict coming simply hasn't been paying enough attention. The Kurds are just hoping not to get drawn in. It makes you wonder what they were thinking when they carved up Iraq after the fall of the Ottoman Empire.

    Glenn
    Haymarket, VA

    January 9, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
  316. Dr. Roberto Rodriguez, PhD

    This has got to be the funniest question ever. It presupposes that things were great when U.S. troops were in the country. Perhaps I'm cynical, but was it not the U.S. that exacerbated this entire situation?

    January 9, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
  317. AJ - from Boston, MA

    After 10 years of war, nearly 5 thousand US service personal dead and 1 Trillion spent. Enough already! Why should we continue to spend our resources on Iraq? We should have never gone in there in the first place. For those who want a continued US present in the country, send your sons or daughter and leave the rest of us alone.

    January 9, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
  318. Jake in Montana

    Was it wrong for the U.S. to just walk away from Iraq?

    No Jack Iraq was a mistake from day one. The sad thing is that it cost us 4,400+ American lives and billions of dollars.

    January 9, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
  319. Ron (Denver)

    No – it was wrong and immoral to go in in the first place. Don't get me wrong – the world is better and safer without Saddam Hussein and his sadistic spawn. If the country would have concentrated efforts on destroying al-Queda instead of the phantom menace of non existent WMDs, it might just have been over by now.

    January 9, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
  320. Jess C

    Just another reason to not vote for a GOP President....more unfunded wars just waiting to happen. McCain is an irresponsible moron for suggesting we left Iraq too early. What would be his proposal to fund wars (aka "long term troop agreement") anyway?

    January 9, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
  321. Susan from Idaho

    No it was seven years past time. I hope George Bush lives long enough to regret the choice to go in. Shock and awe turned into the biggest mess the middle east has ever experienced.

    January 9, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
  322. Kyoatey in AZ

    I agree with most that, we never should have gone there, however since we did and took over and controlled the country I strongly feel we were wrong to leave. We should have raise our flag and stated that this was now U.S. Territory. Any nations, or U.N. objections would be refered to US Armed Forces, and the "Your Next Committee". I assure you Exxon/Mobile would not have taken 10 years to get the oil flowing to U.S., although in all likelihood they would have raped worse than OPEC.

    January 9, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
  323. Russell in TX

    No Jack it was the right thing to do. The Iraq war was an illegitimate war. We should walk away while the walking is good and let the Iraqis kill each other

    January 9, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  324. jamie1289

    Getting out of Iraq was the best thing we could have done.

    Enough of us fighting Israel's wars. The only country in the world that had a pro war cry before war against Iraq was Israel.
    Even the polls here in the US were more anti Iraq war despite making it unfashionable to be anti Iraq war during the prelude to the war. We can't keep depleting our nations economy for Israel's wars. Israel needs to learn to make peace with its neighbors sooner rather than later. Accept the Arab League recognition condition of going back to 1967 borders. Save the world! Your insistence on not doing causes us to seem hypocritical and we can't drain our economy for you anymore. Enough is enough!

    January 9, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  325. STEVE

    All you liberals bad for bush to remove a dictator that murdered 100,000's of his own people, but it is good for Obama to ramp up Obama's Afghanistan war.. I am confused war is only good if you are a socialist pres. Please let me know, Also what about Libya, And Aisa. Obama is the new Cowboy

    January 9, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  326. SilverHair

    Never should have gone there.

    January 9, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  327. Marc C.

    Jack,

    It was wrong for U.S. troops to be there in the first place, so it's wrong for them to stay. We cannnot be the policeman of the world. Much of the sectarian violence in Iraq was caused by the U.S. meddling in the country and funding both sides of the Sunni-Shia fight. Keep our troops out, and take those overpaid war contractors and $1 Million embassy with 'em.

    Marc C.
    Los Angeles, CA

    January 9, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  328. Abbie, Indiana

    Just walk away??? Jack, we've been there for 8 years! I hardly think that constitutes abandonment. Iraq should have been over years ago, we can't spend all of our money and time babysitting.

    January 9, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  329. Name*Paul of Dayton, OH

    Jack, it was wrong for us to walk, drive and fly in. These folks in Iraq need to figure it out for themselves. 

    January 9, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  330. Daniel in Canada

    it was wrong for US to invade Iraq in the first place, no one can ever achieve peace holding a gun in their hands. You silly Americans traded No WMDs for Billions, opss I mean Trillions in debt. The only people who won the war are the weathly 1% and Corporate America. This is what happens when a society mostly pays attention to Paris Hilton, American Idol, Football, TMZ, etc.

    January 9, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  331. Peter from Wisconsin

    This was a Bush invasion under false pretenses. U.S. domestic security depends on a less costly overseas footprint.

    January 9, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  332. Ron

    NO we should not have been there in the first place, w got us into a war we could not have been more wrong to be in. Cheney talked him into it so halliburton couldd get rich, the chickenhawk loves war as long as he doesn't have to fight in them. See 6 deferments for nam

    January 9, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  333. Roger Hurst

    Yes Jack, we should have stayed there till civil war had erupted in the US. Give me a God damn break. Enough is enough.

    January 9, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  334. Albert, Lexington SC

    Are you crazy Jack?
    I don't understand why we were there in first place, it has put our country in a ditch of debt.
    To go again is not looking for Iraq but suicide for America. both economically and bankrupting country.
    Republicans are crazy and mad like Bush, Are you too.

    January 9, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  335. Robert Pike, Homestead Fl

    We "walked" away because we knew we weren't supposed to be there. We need to "walk away" from a lot more of our foreign posts – we are not the worlds' Police.

    January 9, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  336. Charlie in Maine

    Wrong to have ever,ever,ever have been there. Ifanything we waited too long. If this country were smart enough to have voted for John Kerry it could have eneded four years sooner. Better late than never. (which was McCains plan. And the neo-cons are salivating that we might be stupid enough tti elect another of them so we can invade Iran.. I hope we have learned.

    January 9, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  337. Mike

    Mike – Pittsburgh, PA

    Jack, nothing we could do would keep the lid on the situation over there. We went in and destroyed their government and attempted to put another one in power while ignoring the fact that they had no drive to do such a thing. The issue was that we forced freedom down their throats, they did not have to fight for it, and thus, they don't know what it's like to come together and accept each other.

    I see a much different situation in Libya...

    January 9, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  338. Paolo, Berkeley, CA

    If it was wrong to get out, then it was wrong to get in.
    Let Iraq figure its own issues ... Iran won't be around for much longer to be influencing anything anyway. Remember one thing, most of the insurgency in Iraq was riding the fact that the USA was invading/occupying Iraq. There is very little they can claim against the USA now that the troops are gone. If the country goes South (or more South), it's their business. Yes, it would better to have a stable Iraq ... in the end, it doesn't matter, we no longer need oil ..

    January 9, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  339. Doreen

    NO!! No matter when we left Iraq, this would have happened. We never should have been there to begin with, and these problems go back thousands of years. The people in this country need to be responsible for themselves.

    January 9, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  340. steve

    we didnt walk away-we left with iraq pushing us out--now it iraq killing iraq citizens

    January 9, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  341. Thomas K. Geraci, MD

    No. We should never have gone there in the first place, and once there we should have left long ago. Nothing we do... or don't do... will ever change the attitudes of Sunnis and Shiities toward each other. They will go on hating and killing long after Bush and Obama and Cheney and the military brass and all of us are gone. What we SHOULD be doing is working night and day to find an alternative to oil dependency; only then will we stop being impacted by what goes on there.

    January 9, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  342. T. Beeth

    It was our mistake going into Iraq. About time we got ourselves out of that place. We better leave the nation-building business to others, Iraq will stay the same, regardless of our efforts.

    January 9, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  343. stewart

    It is time to leave Iraq, as much as it was time to leave Vietnam, South Korea, Europe and Japan after WWII. Afghanistan will be next. Get used to it. Perpetual war is not healthy for a nations economic viability, children, flowers and other living things after all

    January 9, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  344. Steve M.

    Absolutely not. It should be readily apparent now to everyone that we should never have been there in the first place. The tribal nature of that part of the world is thousands of years old, and no outside influence is going to change it. What's wrong with three separate nations there? Kurds, Sunnis and Shiite?

    January 9, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  345. John D

    No, it is time we let the chips fall where the will in the Midle East, and focus on securing our borders and rebuilding our own infrastructure. We have no place in medieval era religious disputes when we need to move our own country into the future. Good riddance to Iraq.

    January 9, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  346. Mike Little

    It was wrong to go to IRAG in the first place. This was the result of Bushes personal hatred of Saddam.
    Bush should be charged with the premediated murder of Saddam.

    thank god we finally left

    January 9, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  347. Jack Mehoff

    No, It was wrong to go in there in the first place. The people of this region will resolve this situation. Maybe dividing up this country might be a good thing.

    January 9, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  348. Jake

    No, we need to start taking care of ourselves and quit nation building. They need to take care of all the chaos that is taking place by themselves. It will be good if the country splits up and segregates based on beliefs. Maybe then there will be some more stability in that part of the world.

    January 9, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  349. Clark

    Iraq should split into 3 countries. It is a phony country invented by the British after WWI from pieces of the Ottoman Empire. The British stayed and kept the peace there for 50 years and Iraq collapsed almost instantly when they left. It basically has to be held together all these years at gunpoint.

    January 9, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  350. Bill Mcgee

    No way Hosea... We should have left 2000 lives ago... It will take a long time to resolve.. Aren't we still seeing Confederate flags in this country? How long ago was OUR civil war?

    January 9, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  351. Jose

    No Jack because we should not have been there in the first place.

    RP 2012

    Bremerton, WA

    January 9, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  352. Kasey

    We did not just "walk away" from Iraq. Iraq didn't want the US there in the first place. This was George Bush's war not ours. We did right leaving a war that wasn't our war in the first place. I am glad Obama pulled our troops out. Our real concern needs to be Afghanistan.

    January 9, 2012 at 5:24 pm |